Syracuse men’s basketball: Former 5-star recruit J.J. Starling transfers to Orange

The Syracuse Orange started off their offseason with a bang. After Jim Boeheim retired and Adrian Autry took over, the first order of business was to hit the transfer portal. The Orange have done just that, as former 5-star recruit and Baldwinsville native J.J. Starling has transferred to Syracuse.

Starling started 24 of the 28 games he played with Notre Dame, including two games against Syracuse. He averaged 11.2 points per game, good for fourth on the Irish team. He shot 42.1% from the floor and just a tick under 30% from three.

Syracuse was in on Starling during his initial recruitment out of high school. The Orange were in his top three but the McDonald’s All-American committed to Notre Dame. Nonetheless, Starling’s return to Central New York represents a huge win for Autry in his first week as Orange head coach.

There are still questions about who is staying and leaving this season’s Orange team. John Bol Ajak is the only person officially in the transfer portal and everyone can technically come back for another year with Syracuse. However, it’s a crowded guard room now with Starling’s addition. It’d be surprising if Judah Mintz, Joe Girard and Symir Torrence all stayed with the Orange.

However, Starling’s addition to the Orange roster is a welcome one, especially as he represents one of the best basketball talents that Central New York has produced within the last couple of years. He appears to be a headline piece for an Orange program that looks to return to the NCAA tournament.

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