Notre Dame guard JJ Starling transfers to Syracuse

The 2022-23 season was JJ Starling’s first for Notre Dame and also his last. One day after it was reported that the freshman was entering the transfer portal, a decision already is known. He told ESPN that he has committed to Syracuse, a longtime conference rival for the Irish.

Geographically, the move makes sense for Starling, who is from the Syracuse suburb of Baldwinsville, New York. It is unknown how much new coach Adrian Autry played a factor, but at the very least, the Orange have a successor for Jim Boeheim. The Irish do not yet have a replacement for Mike Brey, though they might be waiting to see when their candidates’ seasons are over.

This is a tremendous loss for the Irish, and not only because Starling would have been the top returning scorer (11.2 points a game) had he stayed in South Bend. He is the Irish’s top recruit since 2000 according to 247Sports. That they couldn’t hold onto the future NBA talent for his entire collegiate career can’t sit well with the program or its fans.

There doesn’t seem to be much ill will towards the Irish though. When asked to comment about Brey, Starling said the following:

“Coach Brey was a great coach and person. Even while going through tough times, he tried his best to make sure he was there for all of the players and continued to relay the message: ‘We only have each other.’ I wish him the best in whatever he decides to do.”

We wish Starling well, though not too well when the Orange and Irish face off next season.

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Story originally appeared on Fighting Irish Wire