Syracuse Basketball: Chance Westry says he’s ready to have a big season

Syracuse basketball, Chance Westry (Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball, Chance Westry (Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports) /

Chance Westry, who transferred to Syracuse basketball this off-season, said in a recent interview that he’s “ready to play the best basketball of my life.”

The 6-foot-6, 190-pound Westry, who hails from Harrisburg, Pa., is a sophomore guard/wing at the ‘Cuse. He was a former long-time recruiting target of the Orange but ended up playing his freshman year at Southeastern Conference member Auburn.

Westry only appeared in 11 games for the Tigers during the 2022-23 season, averaging 9.3 minutes and 2.5 points per contest. He dealt with a knee injury as a freshman.

In an interview with TJ Smith of PennLive, Chance Westry said in part, “This season is big for me. I have high expectations of myself and am glad to be back where I was at a year ago before surgery. I’m ready to play the best basketball of my life.”

It’s a joy to read that. I was always a big, big fan of Westry. I was bummed when the ‘Cuse didn’t prevail in his high-school recruitment, but I am excited to watch him suit up in the 2023-24 campaign for the Orange. I believe he can have a major role in the ‘Cuse backcourt this coming season.

Syracuse basketball sophomore Chance Westry is a former top-40 national prospect.

The ‘Cuse was one of the first college squads to offer a scholarship to Westry, with that offer coming in the summer of 2019 while he shined for Trinity High School in Camp Hill, Pa. He took an official visit to the Hill and had the Orange in his initial top 10 before committing to Auburn.

He spent his senior year at the powerhouse AZ Compass Prep School in Chandler, Ariz., where he averaged 13.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.3 steals per encounter. Westry helped lead AZ Compass to the prestigious 2022 GEICO Nationals.

As a member of the 2022 class, Chance Westry was rated as a top-40 overall player and a top-10 combo guard by the majority of primary recruiting services. Despite not playing much as a freshman at Auburn, he was also ranked in the top 75 around the country in 2023 transfer ratings, per 247Sports and

Word broke in late March of this year that Westry was entering the NCAA’s transfer portal, and Syracuse basketball coaches reached out to him. Reports this spring said that Westry received interest from various suitors, including St. John’s, Penn State, Creighton and Seton Hall.

In late April, Westry said he would transfer to the Orange. According to the PennLive story, Westry said, “Syracuse was one of the first schools to ever recruit me and it was a perfect fit at this point in my college career.”

This off-season, first-year head coach Adrian Autry and his assistants did a tremendous job recruiting out of the transfer portal. Among others, they landed Westry and Central New York native J.J. Starling, a former five-star, top-25 national prospect in the 2022 cycle who spent his freshman year at Notre Dame.

Syracuse basketball officially kicks off its 2023-24 season in early November, and the chatter is that Starling and returning sophomore Judah Mintz are likely to be the starters in Autry’s backcourt.

The Orange’s guard rotation is deep and versatile. Besides Westry, Mintz and Starling, the ‘Cuse 2023-24 backcourt includes sophomores Justin Taylor and Quadir Copeland, as well as Kansas transfer Kyle Cuffe Jr., a redshirt sophomore.

Autry has said that he’s likely to play a mix of man-to-man and zone defenses this upcoming season. He wants to utilize pressure on defense, play at an up-tempo pace, and get out in transition.

Westry, at 6-foot-6, has the height and length to play multiple positions, such as point guard, shooting guard and small forward. He is athletic and gets after it defensively. While he may not be a starter, I envision Chance Westry getting ample minutes in Autry’s 2023-24 rotation.

Westry said in his interview with Smith that he’s been putting in work this off-season to, among other things, improve his shooting, particularly from 3-point range.

“I work on all aspects of my game but me and my trainer have been putting in extra work on shooting in all different scenarios. Off the dribble, spot up, catch and shoot opportunities,” Westry says.

Mark my words. Chance Westry is going to have a really successful sophomore season on the Hill.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: 4-star Elijah Moore not in top 100, and I don’t get that. dark