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BB Recruiting

Syracuse Edition: Pick a Guard, Any Guard

The last piece to the puzzle of an already stout 2022 recruiting class is a point guard. SU commit Kamari Lands can man the power forward spot at 6’8”, but also dominate in a stretch 4 role with the ability to handle the ball beyond the perimeter. Recent Syracuse commit Justin Taylor has the height of a small forward but the build and skillset of a shooting guard.

When perusing around the recruiting class, the Orange are honed in on three point/combo guards that can all take the ball up the court and facilitate the offense.

Quadir Copeland

The Orange are all in on this three-star, 6-foot-6 combo guard. He officially visited Syracuse last month and continues to impress SU as a true point guard fit in its scheme.

Copeland can both score and attack the basket with more furiosity than most SU PGs in the past. His size allows better penetration off the dribble, resulting in dive or kick opportunities for forwards cutting to the dish or spot-up shooters beyond the perimeter.

His three-star ranking gives Syracuse the upper hand, so much so that the Orange are by far the most decorated program recruiting the Pennsylvania native. A crystal ball prediction on 247Sports, on top of an open spot to fill in 2022 has all the arrows pointing toward Copeland in Orange.

JJ Starling

Listed as a combo guard on 247Sports, Starling would assume the point guard position at a higher volume at Syracuse. His 6-foot-4, 180-pound frame lands him as a prototypical “1” in a five-man rotation.

Starling adds that missing piece to SU’s stacked 2022 class, plus he’s the most local top tier talent anyone in Central New York can point to, growing up 20 minutes away from the Dome. However, he’s made one official visit to… Maryland.

Although Syracuse continues to pursue Starling, it looks like the newly-appointed La Lumiere point guard has yet to dwindle down his options in favor of his hometown school. Starling, at his size and with his immense skillset (handling the ball, playmaking off the dribble, and scoring at will), would secure SU’s recruiting class in the top 10. But with no official visit so far, the Orange seem focused elsewhere.

Chance Westry

This one is very interesting case. Outside of Kyle Filipkowski, Westry is the highest ranked recruit still sought out by Syracuse. In fact, he visited four schools in June, including SU.

Syracuse has also racked up a pair of crystal ball predictions on 247Sports. But even with all these positives, SU is preoccupied with Copeland and Starling’s recruiting status. The Orange are still keeping very close tabs on Westry, but it looks more likely that Syracuse nabs one of the two aforementioned names.

That could be due to SU’s confidence that Westry will choose the Orange or the exact opposite.

Either way, the Arizona product is a stud who can play multiple positions at a high level. His ability to get to the rim is uncanny and his 190-pound frame is noticeable. Westry works best off the dribble and can both step back for a jump shot and ball fake/drive to the hoop.

With his senior year at Hillcrest Prep in Arizona still to come, Westry has a chance to take his game to a new level before schools like SU, Auburn, LSU or Nebraska are on his mind.

SU is most interested in Copeland or Starling, but Westry is the best nationally ranked out of the three according to 247Sports (Westry – 32, Starling – 38, Copeland – 141). It comes down to who fits what spot best and when these players commit, because one decision directly affects the other.

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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