Former Jayhawk Kyle Cuffe is excited to have a fresh start

Kyle Cuffe Jr. transferred to Syracuse this offseason, and the former Kansas basketball standout has high expectations for his first redshirt season.

The start of Kyle Cuffe Jr.’s recruiting career. it was not what he expected.

A 4-star guard out of Blair Academy in New Jersey, Cuffe has committed to Kansas basketball with the hopes of becoming a great Kansas basketball guard under Bill Self. After redshirting in 2021-22 when the Jayhawks captured the national championship, Cuffe appeared in just two contests last year before tearing his MCL and PCL in team practice.

The son of a former St. John’s Kyle Cuffe — who was coached by now-Kansas assistant coach Norm Roberts during his time with the Johnnies — has yet to score a point in college basketball. He knew his chances on the open market would be limited due to his injury history and unknown talent, but he made a bet and it worked out in the long run.

Before long, Cuffe entered the transfer portal and committed to a new era of Syracuse basketball. Jim Boeheim is out as head coach after 47 years with the program, and Adrian Autry will look to rebuild what was once one of the top powerhouses in the NCAA.

Cuffe has had one of the most challenging climbs to the top so far. But if you consider him redoing back-to-back seasons, he enters 2023-24 as a junior with four years of college football. He feels that two years has taught him more about basketball than he has ever learned.

“I feel like it changed me into the person I am today,” Cuffe declared. “Keeping up with it taught me a lot of lessons,” said Cuffe. “Just internal things, what I have to do. What I should focus on now. What things should I let go of in my life.”

He talked about the things he learned from being a part of the KU program.

“It’s really the little things on how to win. It doesn’t have to be big things all the time but knowing your role and accepting your role,” Cuffe told the media. “Having everyone on the same page is what got us there. Basically put Syracuse back on top,” Cuffe said. “They are back where they should be.”

“It was great to be in a team with people like Christian Braun, Ochai Agbaji, Dave McCormack, even Remy Martin and current guard Dajuan Harris,” he continued. “Jalen Wilson is in the league right now. These are the players I looked up to because they are older and they have shaped the way I look at the game.”

Getting on the court this season won’t be any easier for Cuffe than it was at Kansas. He sits behind Judah Mintz on the depth chart, one of the best point guards in the nation, and will battle Chance Westry for minutes with the second unit. To make matters worse, Cuffe missed the team’s summer practice due to a broken hand he suffered in June. However, knowing Cuffe and his tenacious work ethic, the Kansas basketball transfer will find his way onto the court one way or another.

The Orange open their season with a home game against New Hampshire at 6:00 pm CT tonight.