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Syracuse men’s basketball 2023-24 player profiles: J.J. Starling

“I’m Coming Home.”

NCAA Basketball: Notre Dame at Virginia Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball season is fast approaching, and we’re continuing our player profiles for each scholarship player. Let’s hear about Syracuse’s most promising transfer portal acquisition who’s part of one of the best backcourts in the NCAA: J.J. Starling.

Position: Guard

Class: Sophomore

Vitals: 6’4”, 206 lbs.

Stats (2022-23): Averaged 11.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game in 29.6 minutes a game with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, a season which saw Starling make the ACC’s All-Freshman Team. Shooting splits from last year include 42% from the field, 64% from the free throw line and 30% from three (on three attempts per game).

Strengths/Weaknesses: Starling is on mock draft radars for a reason — he’s got great size and athleticism to be a great combo guard but has shown an ability to be a creator and playmaker as a one. He’s inefficient from the outside and can be turnover-prone on a bad day, but he makes up for those limitations with an instinct to drive to the basket at full steam. Defensively, his size and wingspan make him intriguing in either man or zone, but he’ll need to improve his consistency on that end this year.

Ceiling: Starling breaks out into a clear All-ACC guard if everything really goes well, and together, he and Mintz become one of the most productive pairings in college basketball. That’s if he adds around seven points to his scoring on better efficiency and become a consistent playmaker. Defensively, he improves from below average to pretty good and can switch to multiple positions.

Floor: At worst, Syracuse still gets a reliable, point of attack guard who will be able to score at all threes levels and can occasionally pop for a big-time performance. He also remains a great fit with Mintz across the board, but the inconsistencies on both ends of the floor means Mintz still has to shoulder greater responsibility to keep the Orange afloat.

Let’s get a good look at ya: