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Former Notre Dame guard JJ Starling will transfer to Syracuse

By Patrick Engel,

Former Notre Dame guard JJ Starling (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Former Notre Dame guard JJ Starling’s stay in the transfer portal lasted about 24 hours. He has picked his next destination — one that will put him on the Irish’s future schedule.

Starling, Notre Dame’s fourth-leading scorer as a freshman this season, has committed to Syracuse, he told On3’s Joe Tipton. It’s a return to Central New York for Starling, who grew up in the Syracuse suburb of Baldwinsville.

The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Starling averaged 11.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game for the Irish, while shooting 42.1 percent from the floor and 29.9 percent on three-pointers. He played in 28 games and started 24, but missed the last four games due to knee soreness. He was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team, the lone individual honor a Notre Dame player earned this season. He entered the transfer portal Monday, the first day undergrad players were allowed to do so.

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Notre Dame beat out Syracuse, Duke, Northwestern and Stanford for Starling the first time around, pulling him out of La Porte (Ind.) La Lumiere. He transferred there after playing his first two seasons at Baldwinsville High School.

Syracuse assistant Adrian Autry was involved in his recruitment back then. Autry, named the Orange’s head coach March 8 after Jim Boeheim’s retirement, won out this time.

“My relationship with Coach Autry is very strong,” Starling told Tipton. “That is a guy I know I can trust and he isn’t sugarcoating anything he’s telling me. I know he is going to be a coach that allows his players to play with freedom and also instill confidence in them whenever they need it.”

Starling was Notre Dame’s first McDonald’s All-American since Demetrius Jackson in 2013. He was a five-star recruit and the No. 18 overall player in the 2022 On3 Industry Ranking.

Two other Notre Dame players joined Starling in the transfer portal Monday amid the program’s coaching search: freshman forward Dom Campbell and grad student guard Robby Carmody.

Notre Dame’s season ended March 7 with a loss to Virginia Tech in the first round of the ACC Tournament. That game drew the curtains on head coach Mike Brey’s 23-year tenure, a coaching change announced Jan. 19 but effective at the end of the year. The Irish went 11-21 overall and 3-17 in the ACC in his final season. Their search for his replacement is ongoing.

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