J.J. Starling is headed home to play for Syracuse, choosing the Orange over heavy interest from the top programs in college basketball.
Starling, a McDonald's All-American who averaged 11.2 points per game at Notre Dame last season, said he will not enter the 2023 NBA Draft and chose to align with new Syracuse coach Adrian Autry over offers from Kansas, UCLA, North Carolina, Alabama, Indiana and Tennessee.
He told ESPN on Tuesday, one day after entering the transfer portal, the departure of head coach Mike Brey plus his connection with Autry helped make the decision simple.
"This was a pretty quick decision because I knew what Cuse has to offer and I trust in that," Starling told 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."
Starling was a top-20 recruit out of La Lumiere School in Indiana, but grew up in New York less than 15 miles from the Syracuse campus. Autry, then an assistant to Jim Boeheim, heavily recruited Starling in 2020 and 2021. That aspect also made for an informed decision, Starling told ESPN.
"I will most likely be a point guard and shooting guard, but I am willing to play whatever role is necessary for us to win games," he said.
--Field Level Media