Former Notre Dame guard J.J. Starling has committed to play for Adrian Autry and the Syracuse basketball program next season, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN.
“I felt like it was a great fit for me,” J.J. Starling said, via ESPN. “The coaching staff are people I know I can put my trust in to handle and manage my career the right way.”
With Mike Brey’s departure from the Notre Dame basketball program, it made sense that Starling entered the transfer portal. The move to the Syracuse basketball program comes shortly after Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim announced his retirement, with Adrian Autry replacing him. Starling is the first big get for Autry in the post Jim Boeheim era.
“My relationship with coach Autry is very strong,” Starling said, via ESPN. “That is a guy I know I can trust and he isn’t sugarcoating anything. He is going to allow his players to play with freedom and also install confidence whenever they need it.”
Starling picked Syracuse over Alabama, Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA, Tennessee, Auburn, Indiana and Oregon, according to Givony. The decision came less than 24 hours after entering the transfer portal, and he spoke on the quick decision.
“This was a pretty quick decision because I knew what Cuse has to offer and I trust in that,” Starling said, via ESPN. “I know I’m going to be in the right hands that will help me grow as a person on and off the court. I did not know all along that I wanted to go home, I was going to entertain the coaches that were calling and getting in contact. However, instead of making it more stressful for my parents and myself, we had a long conversation and realized that Cuse was the spot for me.”
As Starling said, this is a homecoming for him. He was five-star recruit and the 21st-ranked in the 2022 class. He grew up in Baldwinsville NY, which is part of the Syracuse Metropolitan Area.
Starling will likely be a key member for his hometown team next season.