In case you missed it, Class of 2022 4-star guard JJ Starling committed to Notre Dame earlier this evening. Syracuse was among his final five teams. Instead, Starling is taking his talents to South Bend, and the Orange are dealt another blow for their Class of ‘22 recruiting group that also saw Kamari Lands decommit in August.
With Starling off the board, SU would be wise to turn its attention to two other high-profile recruits they’re courted for a while. The news on 4-star forwards Chris Bunch and Chance Westry provide some good and bad news, respectively.
At the moment, Syracuse is in much better shape with Bunch. The 6’7 small forward out of Wasatch (Utah) Academy trimmed his final teams down to three a week ago. Those three are Rutgers, Washington, and Syracuse. Bunch visited SU on June 28th and is expected to announce his choice on Halloween. In an interview with 247Sports six days ago, Bunch said “an important thing to me is winning” and praised Jim Boeheim’s legacy of coaching talented wings. Entering year 46, Boeheim’s winning and venerable presence is definitely a card neither Rutgers nor Washington can come close to playing. Now all SU has to do is try and beat back former assistant turned-Huskies head coach Mike Hopkins and hope for the best.
On the other hand, Chance Westry’s prospective future in Orange is a little cloudier. If you put much stock in 247Sports’ “Crystal Ball” prediction system, Syracuse isn’t in good shape: as of today, Auburn and LSU are tabbed as the only two likely destinations for Westry. That same Crystal Ball just accurately predicted JJ Starling would go to Notre Dame. Westry stands at 6’6, 190 pounds, and is a small forward like Bunch. Either player would fit nicely into a recruiting class already stacked with a combo guard (Quadir Copeland), a forward with shooting guard game (Justin Taylor), and a big man (Peter Carey). However, it appears Syracuse has better odds to net Bunch as it sits right now.
The clear ideal outcome for Syracuse is that they get either Bunch or Westry. They were never going to get both, and with Westry’s interest in other schools in mind, it may be time for Boeheim and Gerry McNamara to focus more on Bunch. If he ends up in the Class of ‘22 group, it may be some of Boeheim’s finest recruiting work in the last decade or so.