Orange Fizz

BB Recruiting

To Move Forward, Syracuse is Looking Back

Just when it looked like the roof was caving in on Syracuse, hope sprung anew as the Orange received their second commitment from the transfer portal in former Auburn Tiger Chance Westry. The Orange recruited the 6 ‘6 combo guard/wing out of high school, but he chose to play in the SEC, and after a freshman season in which he was never healthy and took a medical redshirt, he comes to Syracuse with a much greater opportunity.

“I believe in what Coach Autry is building,” Westry said. “He and his staff sold me on their level of commitment to helping me develop into the player I want to be. He knows that I’m coming in ready to work and hopefully help us get to the tournament and make a run. “

Westry cited his relationship with Adrian Autry and Gerry McNamara among multiple reasons for his commitment and gave Orange fans hope that even if Judah Mintz returns, they would be able to play together, or Westry could have a bigger role. So, to move its roster forward, Syracuse is looking back to players it wanted years ago, but more than that, it’s looking for players who resemble those of strong former teams, where the main traits were size, athleticism, and speed. That’s how Autry wants to play with this new-look roster.

“I was not recruited to replace Judah,” Westry said. “Coach is respecting Judah’s process, and I’m doing the same. I know that Judah will do what’s best for him, but I welcome the opportunity to play with such a dynamic talent. And I’m super excited to share a backcourt with JJ. I think that our games complement each other in ways that could lead to a lot of success for our team.”

When Jesse Edwards entered the portal last week, followed by Adam Weitsman dropping the mic on the NIL game, Syracuse fans were irate that after a month of positive energy, things had come back to reality. Now, with the commitment of Westry, a big hole in the Orange’s roster has been filled. It’s not a true point guard, but Westry told ESPN that he can be a lead guard at 6’6, and has the talent to do a lot of different things. After years of unathletic backcourts, Syracuse’s potential backcourt is the 6 ‘6 Westry, 6’ 4 JJ Starling, 6 ‘6 Quadir Copeland, 6’ 3 Judah Mintz, and 6 ‘6 Justin Taylor can also play guard. That’s some serious size, and what SU’s best teams in the last 15 years looked like.

“I’m prepared to take on any role that he and the staff feel will help put us in a position to win,” Westry said. “That being said, I feel like I’m most effective with the ball in my hands and with the freedom to create for others as well as myself. I pride myself on being a guy who makes his teammates better. Coach Autry and I discussed that a lot during my recruitment process. He let me know that he has trust in me as a lead guard and that I’ll have opportunities to do what I feel like I do best.”

Westry potentially closes the book at guard for the Orange in the portal, but it wouldn’t be crazy to add another. The one remaining true need is a center and preferably one that can start on night one. Abou Ousmane, who the Orange reportedly had an interest in, committed to Xavier on Tuesday, so it’s back to the drawing board. But, hope is back for SU, and that’s because to move this program forward, they’re looking back at what has worked, and getting back to that formula.

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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