Orange Fizz


Don’t Forget About Chance Westry

Photo courtesy of @Cuse_MBB on X

With the transfer portal nearing its first full week of allowing players to leave their current school and explore new options, it is transaction season for Syracuse. Justin Taylor and Quadir Copeland have already entered the portal (along with the dismissed Benny Williams), and there will likely be more departures to the portal or the professional route.

So, with that in mind, there are going to be holes that Adrian Autry and his staff need to fill on his roster this offseason, likely at every position considering the lack of depth that SU had at the end of the year, with an emphasis on maturity and leadership, to go along with technical skills like shooting and size. But, someone who could help in the backcourt that is consistently not being talked about is the return of Chance Westry next season.

He’s played very little college basketball in the last two years, but his size and ability to create shots for himself and others could be a huge boost in a backcourt next year that is losing Copeland and likely Judah Mintz. He injured his knee in the preseason and ended up missing the whole year despite optimism for a return when he initially hurt.

“One thing in these situations is I always err on the side of caution,” Autry said in December via “He has eligibility left. I don’t want him to rush back and something happens. So take your time and we’ll see what it is. He understands. Nothing definitive. Not even hopeful. No timeline right now.”

In a backcourt that will include JJ Starling and Elijah Moore, having Westry as another guard with size and the ability to handle the basketball is a huge asset. Throw in Kyle Cuffe potentially returning, and maybe another portal guard and you have a really strong backcourt despite losing multiple rotation players from the year before who are more well-rounded defensively, share the ball, and are better shooting from beyond the arc.

It’s easy to forget about Westry’s potential because of how much time he has missed, but this is a former top-40 four-star recruit nationally according to the 247 Sports Composite Rankings. If the Orange get him back healthy and add a few pieces in the portal to other positions to improve their size and physicality, this could be a dangerous group with a lot of potential next season.

“Syracuse was one of the first schools to ever recruit me and it was a perfect fit at this point in my college career,” said Westry to in the Fall. “I work on all aspects of my game but me and my trainer have been putting in extra work on shooting in all different scenarios. Off the dribble, spot up, catch and shoot opportunities.”

Obviously, nothing is certain. Westry has gone a significant amount of time away from game action that this could be a fantasy, but potential is exciting for a reason, it gives you hope about what could be, no matter what history says before it.

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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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