Syracuse Basketball: Sharpshooter Kyle Cuffe wants SU ‘back to the top’

Syracuse basketball, Kyle Cuffe Jr. (Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball, Kyle Cuffe Jr. (Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports) /

National analysts and scouts have spoken to the explosive athleticism that Syracuse basketball redshirt sophomore guard Kyle Cuffe Jr. possesses, and in recent weeks, he’s also displayed a stellar shooting stroke from long range.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Cuffe, who is from Harlem, N.Y., transferred to the Orange this past off-season after spending two campaigns with Big 12 Conference powerhouse Kansas.

In the 2021-22 term, when the Jayhawks captured the national title, Cuffe took a redshirt. This past stanza, in 2022-23, he only appeared in two games before suffering an unfortunate knee injury, tearing his MCL and PCL, according to media reports.

Additionally, reports in late June said that Kyle Cuffe Jr. had suffered a broken bone in his right hand. But more recently, first-year head coach Adrian Autry said that his 2023-24 roster is in good health, and that includes Cuffe, although word did come out about a week ago that Auburn transfer Chance Westry, a sophomore guard/wing, is out indefinitely due to a lower-body injury.

With Westry unfortunately injured, other Orange backcourt players, including Cuffe, could see their minutes increase as Syracuse basketball kicks off its 2023-24 season when the ‘Cuse hosts New Hampshire on Monday, Nov. 6.

Syracuse basketball guard Kyle Cuffe Jr. has big goals for his tenure on the Hill.

Despite having played in only a handful of games to date at the collegiate level, Cuffe spent two seasons as a member of the Jayhawks program, and we all know that Kansas is one of the top teams around the country.

Cuffe has said his time with the Jayhawks provided him with valuable experience that will serve him well with the Orange.

In high school, Kyle Cuffe Jr. was a standout for the Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J. He was a four-star, top-60 national prospect in the 2022 cycle before he decided to reclassify up and join Kansas in the team’s 2021 class.

In the 2021 class, multiple recruiting services ranked Cuffe just outside the top-100 overall. He was recruited by Syracuse basketball in high school, having attended the Orange’s annual Elite Camp in 2019.

Even with Westry sidelined for the time being, Autry’s 2023-24 backcourt is still deep and talented, containing five guards, including Cuffe. How much Cuffe will play in the upcoming stanza remains to be seen, but I do believe he can prove a key contributor off of the bench.

Earlier this month, Syracuse basketball held its Orange Tip-off at the JMA Wireless Dome as well as Monroe Madness in Rochester, N.Y. At both events, there were player competitions as well as scrimmages.

Per separate announcements from SU Athletics, at both the Orange Tip-off and Monroe Madness, Kyle Cuffe Jr. fared quite well in showing off his nice-looking jumper in the 3-point challenges.

In a recent article from James Szuba of the excellent site, Szuba noted that Cuffe’s dad, Kyle Cuffe Sr., played for St. John’s from 2000 to 2004. His dad’s career with the Red Storm included facing off against Syracuse basketball during the 2002-03 season, when the ‘Cuse captured the program’s only national championship.

Understandably, Kyle Cuffe Jr. has been aware of Orange hoops for a long time. Regarding his main goal with the ‘Cuse in 2023-24, he told Szuba, “Basically bring Syracuse back to the top. Back to where they’re supposed to be.”

Well said, Kyle. Orange Nation would love that.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: ‘Cuse poised for bounce-back season, per Andy Katz. dark