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Where Should Syracuse Focus its Recruiting?

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When Kamari Lands became Syracuse’s first 2022 commit, and Symir Torrence transferred to SU, the recruiting focus took a drastic turn from guards to centers. The talk on the Hill was no longer about Dior Johnson’s decommitment or the possibility of landing Zion Cruz. The focus shifted to Donovan Clingan and Kyle Filipowski due to the loss of Quincy Guerrier and Marek Dolezaj.

That doesn’t mean the Orange can forget about the guard position as a whole. By 2022, Joe Girard will be in his fourth year, Torrence is still an unknown before the ‘21 season, and no one else can bring the ball up the court or lead the offense. It’s mainly thanks to losing a few young, potential-filled players in Jalen Carey and Kadary Richmond.

So, SU has to stay diligent in the recruiting process about landing a few more guards. A couple great options are rarely brought up in Syracuse news.

JJ Starling

If there’s one player in this class that’s a heavy favorite to sport Orange colors in the ‘22 campaign, it’s the local kid and according to 247 Sports, the third ranked player in New York State. The word “local” might be an understatement. Starling grew up 20 minutes away from the Carrier Dome.

Although the four-star left Central New York to attend the La Lumiere School in Indiana, Starling’s SU ties are apparent. So is his talent. 

Starling averaged 29 points per game in his sophomore season at Baldwinsville High School, and followed that up with 15 points a game on nearly 40% from the field with La Lumiere. 

He shoots the ball with confidence and his craftiness off the dribbles makes him a college-built point guard. The most glaring part about Starling’s game is how willing to improve and teachable he is. He has developed into a player who continues to grow with age and experience, takes better shots, and picks his spots well.

According to 247 Sports, he visited Maryland earlier this month and has offers from Stanford, Alabama, Miami and a few others including Syracuse. It seems written in the stars that Starling follows in the footsteps of Girard and chooses to his hometown school for the foreseeable future.  

Chance Westry

This 6-foot-4, four star epitomizes what a combo guard is all about. He can play multiple positions outside the perimeter and has the ability to score, pass and put his head down to get to the rim. His defense and instincts are also superb. Most importantly, Westry plays for Sierra Canyon, a school which is known for its steep competition and immense talent. This provides valuable experience against hard-nosed competitors.

The Pennsylvania native has roots in the northeast and was recruited by SU assistant coach Gerry McNamara. Can it get much better than that? Well, yeah. A pair of experts, according to 247 Sports, predict that Westry will choose Syracuse over his 15 other offers. Those include Florida, Louisville, Michigan, Georgetown and Maryland to name a few. Nebraska is his only visit thus far.

Westry can provide a rim running presence off the bench, but also someone who will stretch and play all over the floor. Positions have become an irrelevant factor with versatility becoming such a paramount trait, so Westry adds a valuable piece in that regard.

These two guards give Jim Boeheim depth in the backcourt, which is just as important as securing a lethal frontcourt.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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