J.J. Starling knows the Syracuse hoops program well. He knows what the Dome looks like when 30,000 make it the loudest college venue in America. He knows the hype when Duke or UNC comes to town. He knows the Orange flags and banners that wave across Central New York every spring. He’s a Baldwinsville product. He gets it.
He’s now playing at La Lumiere School in Indiana, and he’s risen to a top 50 talent in the Class of ’22 according to Rivals. The combo guard has offers from Duke, Notre Dame, and Alabama. Even Mike Hopkins has extended a scholarship at Washington. He’s rated as the 14th best point guard in his class, and has plenty of good options.
He recently took his official visit to Syracuse, and spoke with Mike McAllister. The SU Class of ’22 already has two standouts, Kamari Lands and Justin Taylor. It’s already one of the best classes in the country. But the Orange want more firepower. With a slew of talent graduating after the season, the Class of ’22 has the ability to reboot the program and perhaps elevate expectations even higher. And SU wants Starling to be the third piece of ’22.
“They were basically saying the ’22 class is really important because they’re going to have a lot of guards graduating. How it would be a big pickup if I go there. They already have some really good commits. They want me to come there and commit.” – JJ Starling
SU wants Starling to play both point and shooting guard, and to come in and be a go-to scorer. The Orange may have another dynamic in their favor other than being the hometown team. Starling considers Symir Torrence “like family” and says, “We’re really, really close.”
The bad news is the official visits have made his decision even tougher. He says all of the programs putting their best foot forward has made it difficult to eliminate any schools. The Orange have a great class already, but it’s clear they want more. And that includes Starling.