What’s next for Syracuse basketball after Dior Johnson decommitment?

Jim Boeheim
18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey hosted a Sports Leadership Seminar with Jim Boeheim, Syracuse University men’s basketball head coach at the Pentagon, May 7, 2014. DoD photo by Army Staff Sgt. Sean K. Harp

On Tuesday evening, 2022 five-star point guard Dior Johnson decommitted from Syracuse via Twitter. Johnson, ranked No. 3 in his class according to 247 Sports, was the most highly anticipated recruit for Syracuse since Carmelo Anthony, and the second five star to decommit from the Orange in the last three years (forward Darius Bazley decommitted from Syracuse in 2018).

Although disappointing, the decision does not come as much of a surprise. Johnson has changed high schools five times in 2.5 years, and with the rise in popularity of elite prospects forgoing college and pursuing G-League and overseas routes, there was plenty of doubt that Johnson would ever suit up in Orange since he committed in February.

Without Johnson, Syracuse has no commitments in 2022. Below are some of the top prospects that the Orange are continuing to pursue:

Zion Cruz

Zion Cruz is a five-star guard ranked 17th overall on 247 Sports. There was talk around the possibility that Johnson, who was supposed to play with Cruz at The Patrick School, was recruiting Cruz to play alongside him at Syracuse. With Johnson gone, Cruz coming to Syracuse is less likely but not completely out of the picture.

JJ Starling

Perhaps a more promising prospect for the Orange is four-star point guard JJ Starling. Starling, a CNY native from Baldwinsville, NY recently transferred to La Lumiere (Ind.) School. Growing up and playing high school basketball less than twenty minutes from Syracuse, the Orange has been aware of Starling for a long time. Starling has since received offers from Alabama, St. Johns, Sienna, and Duke, among others. Starling is an explosive guard who is a pure scorer and would fit well in SU’s system.

» Related: The warning signs were there for Dior Johnson at Syracuse

Chance Westry

Chance Westry is a four-star guard currently at Sierra (Calif.) Canyon. Ranked 27th in the class of 2022 on 247 Sports, Westry visited Syracuse earlier this year and the Orange and Maryland are considered front runners. The 6’4″ guard becomes an even higher priority with Johnson decommitting.

Roddy Gayle Jr.

Shooting guard Roddy Gayle Jr. is a four star prospect who plays at Lewiston (NY) Porter. Gayle is set to make his decision this Friday, and, while Syracuse is in his final six, Ohio State is considered the leader.

Justin Taylor

Taylor is a four-star small forward playing at St. Anne’s-Belfield (Va.) School. He has offers from Indiana, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Butler so far. As of right now the small forward is keen on the two Virginia schools and Syracuse. It is still too early to tell where Taylor will land, but Taylor fits the classic rangy, athletic wing that the Orange covet.

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About Brett Gustin 71 Articles
Brett is from Canastota, NY, and is currently attending Falk college at Syracuse University studying Sports Analytics. Being a Central New York native, Brett has been passionate about Syracuse sports for his whole life. He covers all Syracuse athletics.