Orange Fizz

BB Recruiting

Could JJ Starling Find His Way Back Home?

Photo Courtesy of @NDmbb

Two years ago, it made too much sense. JJ Starling is a highly athletic guard with elite ball handling and a solid shooting stroke. He was a top-30 recruit for a reason, the fact that he is originally from Baldwinsville, NY made it feel like a match made in heaven for him and the Orange. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. At least at the start of his collegiate career.

Naturally, in no small part thanks to his upbringing, Syracuse has emerged as a potential suitor. Adrian Autry recruited Starling all those years ago, now that Red is the head man does that make SU a more likely destination for him?

Now that Starling is in the portal, you can’t help but be licking your chops at the possibility of what he could add. Say Judah Mintz decides to stay. The two of them in the same backcourt? It’s almost too good to be true, not to mention if the likes of Chris Bell, Justin Taylor, Maliq Brown, and Quadir Copeland continue to develop. It’s already a deep group, Starling makes it even more so.

An interesting note to make is that Starling put up numbers in an offense that doesn’t necessarily suit him. The Irish’s style of play appeared to be “live and die by the three-pointer”. Starling shot 30% from beyond the arc, and while by no means is that a bad mark, it isn’t sustainable in an offense like that. This year, we saw Syracuse’s offense shift focus to aid Mintz’s game after a heavy three-point barrage in 2021-22. If the Orange run a similar offense next season, it could suit Starling’s game perfectly.

Finally, what an opportunity this would be. A program fresh off two of its worst seasons in recent memory with Jim Boeheim now out of the equation. If going to SU and balling out isn’t a way to get the attention of NBA scouts, what is? Starling’s solid play was overshadowed by Notre Dame’s struggles this season, he could get his name on the map playing for Syracuse.

When Notre Dame visited Syracuse in January, Starling had a noticeably loud round of applause when he was introduced. Playing in front of that home game sounds kind of nice, doesn’t it? Starling coming to Syracuse offers an opportunity to play in front of his friends and family more frequently, potentially play with several solid players his year, and help put this program back on the map. That’s one heck of a pitch.

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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