Orange Fizz

BB Recruiting

Quiet on All Fronts = Good Sign for Autry

As the end of March approaches, all is quiet with Syracuse basketball. After the commotion that was the beginning of the month, with Jim Boeheim’s departure, Adrian Autry’s ascent, JJ Starling’s arrival, and announcements from Judah Mintz and Joe Girard III regarding their future, we’ve finally reached a stable point. That’s all to say that big news will drop within hours of this posting. But, let’s operate under the assumption it doesn’t.

So, things are quiet with the Orange right now, and that’s a good thing because it means Autry and his assistants Gerry McNamara and Allen Griffin are out working on recruiting new players to the unique style they want this program to be, plus having conversations with current guys about coming back. Right now, Syracuse has Starling, Justin Taylor, Chris Bell, Quadir Copeland, Benny Williams, Maliq Brown, Jesse Edwards, Mounir Hima, and Peter Carey as players who have eligibility to return next season but have not announced anything yet, so let’s assume they’re coming back. Plus, William Patterson is the only player in the class of 2023 committed to Syracuse. It’s unlikely all of them are wearing Orange in November, but just for this exercise, let’s assume they do.

If players were hitting the transfer portal left and right after a coaching change, such as schools like St. John’s and Providence, then there would be a giant task ahead for Autry, but that hasn’t been the case. Mintz kept the door open to returning for his sophomore season, and Girard did as well but seems like he’s out the door after entering the portal plus putting his name in the NBA Draft. Symir Torrence and John Bol Ajak also announced their portal intentions shortly after the season.

So, it’s clear what the Orange need and that’s guards. Copeland looks to have all the tools to be a prototypical tall, lanky, and athletic Syracuse guard, but he showed he still has a long way to go in developing this offseason. Taylor can play the two, and Bell would seem to as well give his shooting skills. But, SU would be best trying to bring in at least one, and if not two experienced guards in the portal if Mintz stays in the draft to compliment Starling, and not leave the ball-handling burden completely up to him.

Autry has been doing a lot of high school recruiting, such as seeing 2024 four-star forward Donnie Freeman last week, and now Freeman is planning an official visit for next month. The Orange head man has reestablished relationships with a lot of 2024 recruits in his short few weeks in the position, and almost all reside on the east coast, from NYC to DC, exactly where SU can thrive in recruiting.

Outside of Autry, it’s been dead quiet with McNamara and Griffin, which would also seem to indicate that they are working the phones, plus working back in CNY with current players to make their decisions. Autry having continuity on his staff is instrumental in maintaining stability within the program, and why only four players have left in some form or fashion. But, the point is that Syracuse has a clear need, and is focused on working towards the future, even if it’s doing so in a relatively quiet fashion.

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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