What an amazing ending in Syracuse’s 72-69 win over Miami on Saturday. Guard Quadir Copeland won it for the Orange with a triple from the left wing. Perhaps, the sophomore had the clutchest bucket, but another guard made the long-range shots that led to that historic moment in the Dome.
Guard J.J. Starling was unstoppable from downtown. The Baldwinsville native knocked down a career-high six three-pointers.
SU fans have been forced to remain patient for Starling’s performances on the court.
Finally, it seems, the Notre Dame transfer is finding his groove in an Orange uniform. Starling totaled 22 points on Saturday after he notched 17 points in Syracuse’s win over Pitt on Tuesday.
“These last two games, he’s been locked in,” said head coach Adrian Autry following Saturday’s game. “He’s not hesitating. He’s very confident. He’s just out there making plays. I’m just happy. If I got Judah and J.J. playing like that and everybody else floating around, it’ll give us a chance every game.”
Speaking of Judah Mintz, he and Starling complemented each other during Syracuse’s fourth ACC win.
Starling fed off of Mintz’s career-high 13 assists. Plus, Mintz came close to a triple-double adding 10 points and eight rebounds. His last assist set up Copeland’s game winner. Mintz should be credited for Starling’s recent buzz.
Starling is starting to gel into the player that SU fans we’re hoping for.
People forget, this is a player who had shoulder surgery in the offseason. Plus, one could conclude there’s some added pressure to execute for your hometown team.
While Starling is battling multiple curveballs, he’s elevated his game. If he can continue to shoot the ball well from beyond the arc, Syracuse can make a name for itself in the ACC.
Starling is shooting 26% from downtown this year. He is 8-15 in his last two contests. That’s more than 50%.
Despite the recent spotlight on Copeland thanks to his late game heroics and energy off the bench, Starling is having a mini breakout of his own.