Syracuse men’s basketball: Adrian Autry talks about taking over the Orange

Mar 27, 2023 - 2:00 PM
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Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

During an interview with Chris Spatola on the Sirius ACC Network, new Syracuse Orange head coach Adrian Autry talked about his ascension to the job. Since I was listening while on the road, I don’t have exact quotes but want to touch on some of what Autry said.

Autry said he feels ready to take over for Jim Boeheim and he didn’t seem nervous about following in the Hall of Fame coach’s footsteps. It’s a daunting task for anyone, never mind a first-time head coach, but Autry sounded confident in his preparation and his ability to handle the job.

On the subject of roster construction, Autry said he’s got to find a balance between transfers and high school prospects. He mentioned that he thinks a program can be successful if you can keep a core for two years, which is interesting because of Syracuse’s large 22-23 class. Judah Mintz is in the NBA Draft process but if Autry can retain the rest of the group it does give him a core of players along with incoming transfer JJ Starling for next season.

Autry said Syracuse’s fan support and place in the community offers his program and players strong NIL opportunities, which he thinks can help attract and retain talent moving forward.

When the subject turned to style of play, Autry shared that he wanted to get back to the type of basketball Syracuse played in the 80s and 90s. He wants his team to play fast and exciting on offense, but with more emphasis on 3-point shots. On defense he didn’t get into the “man vs zone” debate, but said his preference was more “in your face defense”. Most will infer that means man, but we’ve seen what a long, athletic, active zone can do so I wouldn’t rule that out next season.

This hint about what Syracuse might look like on the court next November could shed some light on Starling’s decision to transfer or Girard’s decision to leave. If Jesse Edwards doesn’t return, could we see Autry focus on a more agile option at center as opposed to the prototypical 2-3 man in the middle?

It’s certainly going to continue to be an interesting off-season, but hopefully we get to hear more about Autry’s vision for the program as time moves on.

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