Syracuse 2022 target JJ Starling is taking his talents from C.W. Baker High School in Baldwinsville, NY to La Lumiere School in LaPorte, Indiana. The four-star point guard is rated in ESPN’s Top 60 in his class, and currently holds offers from Syracuse, UConn, Washington, Miami (FL), Alabama and St. John’s, among others.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Starling is moving to the prep school circuit. This will give him the chance to play against elite talent, hone his craft and potentially draw interest from other schools. That doesn’t mean Starling ruled out heading back to Central New York after high school, but the Orange might have more competition than expected.
Starling’s status as the next great Syracuse point guard has been flattened by the gargantuan footstep of Dior Johnson’s verbal commitment. That will likely be the greatest repellant from the Baldwinsville native’s eyes. Johnson is the highest rated Syracuse recruit since Carmelo Anthony in 2002. The only chance Starling has of starting at the top of the zone his freshman season is if Johnson reclassifies to 2021. Even if the five-star reclassifies and turns pro after one season, as is expected, Starling will still have a senior Joe Girard to compete with.
Syracuse fans see the 2021-2022 depth as a strength, and it is. But Starling is likely looking at Jim Boeheim’s lineup card for the next few seasons, wondering where he fits in, slowly realizing he is the odd man out.
Make no mistake, Starling’s transfer to La Lumiere is an audition for better offers.
From Syracuse’s perspective, Johnson’s talent is so blinding that it’s difficult to see what they are losing in Starling. But there doesn’t seem to be a place for Starling on the Hill, and he knows it.