One of the top guards in the 2022 class and Syracuse basketball's top target took an official visit over the weekend. It was his second official to Syracuse as he visited in June as well. AllSyracuse.com caught up with Starling to see how the visit went.
Q: What was different about this visit compared to the first one?
Starling: "The last time, I went during the summer. So the kids weren't on campus. I didn't really experience the student life. When I went this time, it was just such a different atmosphere. Everybody was on campus, the energy was great, I actually had an opportunity to envision myself being a student and knowing what they go through on a day to day basis."
Q: What was your experience attending the football game on Saturday?
Starling: "It was great. This was the first time since covid that fans could be at the games. The crowd was going crazy. There were a bunch of fans (there). That just goes to show how much support and how crazy the fan base is there. The atmosphere was great, high energy. It was just fun."
Q: Did any fans recognize you during at the game?
Starling: "Oh yeah. I'm walking through and they're all like, 'JJ come to Cuse' or somewhere along those lines. It was cool. Most of the guys, whoever the people I ran into, were really cool. They were congratulating me and wishing me the best even if it isn't Syracuse."
Q: Was the message from the Syracuse coaches any different than the last trip?
Starling: "It was the same. None of it changes. They're just reiterating and stressing the point that they're trying to get across which is that they really want me. They think they're a good fit for me."
Q: What does it mean to have the home town school pushing so hard in your recruitment?
Starling: "It just goes to show how much they really want me. They know that I have really good opportunities with the college that I decided to move on with. Like I said, they really just wanted to stress that they're a great fit for me. They did so by stepping up their recruitment. They were recruiting me really hard but now they really want to stress that they really want me so they went even harder. Phone calls, having me back a second time, plus they just wanted me to get a feel for campus with students on it because the first time they weren't on it."
Q: What did the second do for your recruitment, where Syracuse stands and when you're looking to decide?
Starling: "Syracuse is in my top five for a reason. I view it as a great school, that's not going to change. It doesn't really change because I still have to be open minded because on these visits schools are really going to try to wow you. So I have to weigh the pros and cons. I can't really give a definite or straight forward answer because I haven't taken all my visits. I'm probably looking at early October (for a decision)."