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Syracuse Basketball: Transfer portal targets

Syracuse made its first foray into the transfer portal for 2024, adding Colorado big man Eddie Lampkin. Unless Adrian Autry has a lot more faith in the players he had on his bench this past year, he will be the first of at least a few additions.

Between the transfer portal (Quadir Copeland, Malik Brown, Justin Taylor, Mounir Hima and Peter Carey), likely the NBA Draft (Judah Mintz) and a dismissal (Benny Williams), the 2023-24 roster has been decimated. The only starter currently slated to return is J.J. Starling. Kyle Cuffe is the only other returning player who averaged more than 10 minutes per game.

Now, the Orange should get some reinforcements in the form of injured players getting healthy. Chance Westry missed the whole season after transferring from Auburn. Florida State transfer Naheem McCloud struggled at times, but provided good size on the interior before suffering a season-ending injury in January.

Point being, the cupboard is not quite as bare as it might appear. Keep in mind that McDonald’s All-American recruit Donnie Freeman and recent winner of a national three-point shooting contest Elijah Moore will be arriving as freshman as well. Still, the portal is going to be an important part of Autry’s team building this offseason. Point guard is a high priority and another wing feels necessary as well.

Let’s take a look at some potential targets for the Orange.


Syracuse has had success in recent years with players from Canada.

Oshae Brissett and Quincey Guerrier were two of the best performers for SU over the past decade. Perhaps, returning to that well one more time would work.

Allette was a productive player for Old Dominion in his true freshman season. He was the team’s leading scorer and rebounder.

However, he was dismissed for “conduct unbecoming of a Monarch.”

It is unclear exactly what went down between Allette and the coaching staff. Perhaps Autry will steer clear because of what the team just went through with Benny Williams, but his talent is undeniable.

A solid shooter with room to grow as a distributor is worth pursuing. Rivals has him ranked in their top 25 players in the transfer portal. This would be a really good addition as long as Syracuse feels comfortable with the off-the-court stuff.

The Orange desperately need some more contributors on the wing.

Chris Bell is expected to be back and Donnie Freeman should see some minutes as well, but outside of those two, Syracuse is lacking.

Finding an in-state player coming off a season where he averaged 18.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game while shooting 54.2 percent from the floor and nearly 40 percent from 3-point range.

He is a solid contributor on defense as well with 1.2 steals and 0.9 blocks per game. He is a grad transfer, so this is a one-year move for Dubar, but this would be a huge step up in competition.

If he joins the Orange, he could split time with Bell or even start next to Bell. Rivals has him in the top 10 of their transfer rankings, but he plays nearby and is from Pennsylvania. Autry needs to be in on him.

One of the top players in the Ivy League this past season, Mack is looking to move to a bigger program following an impressive freshman season that saw him earn Rookie of Year honors.

He averaged 17.2 points, 4.8 assists and 4 rebounds per game this past season. He struggled a bit shooting from 3, hitting just 34 percent of his attempts, but his free throw percentage of 80.4 makes me believe he will get better in that area over time.

There will definitely be some growing pains, but his potential is high. Adding him would give Syracuse a potential starting option at the point for next season.

A former top-50 recruit from Niagara, New York, Gayle was one that got away from the Orange as a high school recruit. Now, he is in the portal after two years at Ohio State and Syracuse is hoping to avoid missing out a second time.

Gayle took a big jump as a scorer in his sophomore season. He averaged 13.8 points per game. However, his shooting efficiency from behind the arc plummeted from 42.9 percent to 28.1 percent.

If Gayle did land with the Orange, it would be interesting to see how Autry would deploy him and Starling. Perhaps, Starling would play on the ball more.

Jack Gohlke got the majority of the attention during Oakland’s stunning upset of Kentucky that ended the John Calipari in Lexington.

However, Trey Townsend was a major contributor for this team all year long and could be a great addition for the Orange.

He is a stretch 4 who has averaged at least 13.3 points each of the past three seasons in the Horizon League.

He has declared for the NBA draft as well, but I think it is more likely he stays in school. Michigan is reportedly interested, but just underwent a coaching change and is in flux at the moment.

There is nothing linking Syracuse to Townsend at this point, but I think he would be a great addition to the roster. The prospect of playing in the ACC should be enticing for him.

After redshirting his freshman year at Providence, Davis transferred to Delaware and developed into a solid scorer. He averaged more than 15 points per game in each of that past two seasons. Unfortunately, Davis does not offer much floor spacing ability as just a 24.6 percent career three-point shooter. However, his free throw shooting and rebounding both saw a solid uptick in 2023-24.

Davis earned second-team All-CAA honors this past season and is expected to visit Syracuse this weekend. He would be in contention to start next season, if not becoming an important part of the rotation.

Recruiting New York City seems to be a priority. SU signed Moore, who hails from the Bronx, in the 2024 recruiting class.

Autry is also in on Kiyan Anthony, Alier Maluk (committed to Florida State) and Nigel James from Long Island and Brandon Stores Jr. (verbal to Georgia Tech) from the Bronx in 2025.

If he wants to add a former Brooklyn standout, then Brantley would make a lot of sense. While he struggles with his shot at times, Brantley is coming off back-to-back seasons at La Salle where he recorded more than four assists per game.

After just one year with the Musketeers, Ducharme is in the portal.

The former four-star had an offer and took an official visit with Jim Boeheim back in January 2022. He only featured in five games for Xavier this past year, so it is hard to know how he will pan out, but he is from the Northeast and was close to being a top-100 recruit when he came out of school.

Syracuse desperately needs wing depth. At 6'7", he would offer some good size. His upside and previous interest shown by the school makes me think he could be a good fit.

This should come as no surprise. Reports surfaced Wednesday that Mount St. Mary's coach Dan Englestad will be joining Autry's staff, replacing Gerry McNamara, who took the head coaching job at Sienna last month.

Later Wednesday, Brent Axe reported that one of Englestad's former players, Leffew, is expected to visit with the Orange over the weekend.

Leffew is a grad transfer after spending his entire time an undergrad with Mount St. Mary's. He is a two-year starter with decent range. He averaged 17.4 points, 3.9 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game as a senior.

If he does commit to SU, I think he would offer a solid veteran presence off the bench. Obviously, having his former head coach on the staff would help ease his transition.

Adams has been all over the place.

He committed to Kansas, but then decommitted and committed to Gonzaga. However, he ended up transferring to BYU after just a few weeks in Spokane. He took an official visit with Syracuse in January, 2023.

Now, he is back in the portal.

He has only played one game of college basketball so far, but he was the No. 61 recruit in the 2023 class according to Rivals, and that was after he reclassified from the 2024 class and graduated early.

His upside is through the roof, with good size at 6'8" and tons of untapped potential. He could be worth a look for Autry and his staff.

I suppose there is a scenario where J.J. Starling shifts into a more on-ball role for this upcoming season, which means the Orange will need a new shooting guard.

Oweh is a New Jersey native who took a good step this year. His scoring averaged jumped from roughly four points per game to just over 11 per game.

Interestingly, Syracuse did not offer Oweh when he was coming out of high school, but after two years with the Sooners, it is possible SU would now be interested.

Leach is coming off a breakout season at Fairfield where he averaged 16.2 points, 3 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game.

He shot nearly 50 percent from the floor and knocked down 35 percent of his 3s.

This would be a big jump up for him, but Leach was named first-team All-MAAC this past season. He is an experienced player who would likely carve out a rotation role for the Orange.

Fresh off a CIT win, Thomas is in the portal again one year after joining Norfolk from UNC Wilmington. He was not the most efficient shooter of all time, knocking down just 40.2 percent of his shots from the floor.

However, Thomas hit 38 percent of his 3s and averaged 2.1 steals per game in 2023-24.

He was the MEAC Player of the Year.

While Syracuse is a bit of a departure from where he grew up and has played to this point, facing North Carolina, Duke and NC State in the ACC might be appealing for the Greensboro native.


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