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Rapid Reaction: Dan Engelstad hiring a big win for Syracuse

Dan Engelstad
Dan Engelstad (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports)

Adrian Autry has now filled the vacancy on his coaching staff since the departure of Gerry McNamara to Siena on March 29.

SU athletics Thursday officially announced the hiring of former Mt. Saint Mary's coach Dan Engelstad as an assistant coach, after serving six years at the school.

RAPID REACTION

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The luring of Engelstad away from his head coaching position at Mount St. Mary's, clearly signifies the direction that Autry wanted to go with his second coaching hire out of the program in as many seasons.

Bring aboard an established head coach (11 seasons combined at Southern Vermont/MSM) who has handled all the various nuances of running an organization administratively, sports a solid record of player development and a couple of quick season turnarounds, and will stimulate Autry's thinking as the staff evolves and establishes new offensive and defensive strategies into the program.

The latter trait is important in the new world order of so many players transferring after one season (along with traditional scholastic recruiting). Their goal is to fit into a winning program that not only satisfies NIL opportunities, but features a playing style that best suits (and showcases) their individual game.

Oh, and Engelstad's hiring also may come with the added benefit of a talent infusion to the depleted Orange roster. All-MAAC first team selection Dakota Leffew is in the portal after four seasons at 'The Mount', and has listed SU among his final six schools on social media this month. Leffew could potentially step right into the SU backcourt to become a dangerous 3-point threat (37% / 18ppg last season).

Throw in Englestad's recruiting connections that date back decades in not only the Washington, D.C. region but the entire east coast, and his seasoned experience and voice will bring a new balance to the Syracuse basketball coaching staff in helping achieve its goal of a return to the NCAA Tournament next season.

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