Syracuse 2010’s All Decade Team.

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I love Syracuse Basketball. At the end of every disappointing Bills season, I knew I could count on Big East Basketball dominance. I knew the recruits, their hometowns, and was an altar boy in the Church of the 2-3 zone. I don’t think I missed a game from 7th grade through 12th grade. 

This is not a scientific list and I did take into account how long they played in Syracuse along with stats, awards, and my personal preference. If you don’t like it make your own damn list.

G-Brandon Triche (2009-2013)

  • Playing in every game in four years and being the only Orange to be part of 120 plus wins makes him lock for the all decade starting five. Brandon Triche was a floor general running point on offense and commanded the defense for four years. Triche never seemed to get rattled or make a bad decision, especially when the game was on line. 

G-Dion Waiters (2010-2012)

  • It was tough between Dion Waiters and Michael Carter-Williams. But Dion was just more fun. Dion was dynamite coming off the bench during his two seasons in Syracuse. At the end of his career he earned Sixth Man of the Year, Third Team All-Big East, and 4th overall pick in the NBA draft. Not bad for someone who didn’t start a game for the Orange. 

F-  Wesley Johnson (2009-2010)

  • Does the 2009-2010 season count as the  2010s decade or the 2000s? I don’t care, this is my list, 2010’s it is. Wesley is the only one year player on this list but he did plenty in his one year. Wesley Johnson may have put together the best single season this century, minus Melo’s 2002-2003 campaign. 16 ppg, on 50% shooting, 40% from three, First Team All-America, Big East Player of the Year, and Naismith Finalist. I mean…come on. 

F- CJ Fair (2010-2014)

  • Another four year player who got better each year on the team. A strong lefty defender and scorer, CJ Fair became a focal point of the team in his last two seasons. His career culminated with a First Team All -ACC and Third Team All-American. (At it was definitely a block in that Duke game)

C-Rick Jackson (2007-2011) 

  • I know this is a small lineup but Rick Jackson needs to be in this lineup. Jackson was arguably the best rebounder the Orange had this decade and averaged a double double in his senior season.  Jackson was also a very solid defender in an era of aggressive Big East Basketball. He Finished his career with Big East Defensive Player of the Year and a Second Team All-Big East.

Bench-Micheal Carter-Williams (2011-2013)

  • A lengthy guard and defender who provided a spark on offense. Carter-Williams was a key player on the Orange’s final four run in 2013 and ended with Second Team All-Big East honors.

BenchTyler Ennis (2013-2014)

  • There is no other player I wish came back for another season than Tyler Ennis. As a freshman Tyler Ennis controlled the offense like his predecessor Brandon Triche. Second Team All-ACC as a freshman capped off his freshman year.  Another year in Orange and Ennis may have cracked my starting 5. 

Bench-  Michael Gbinije (2013-2016)

  • Gbinije came to Syracuse as a Duke transfer who grew into a versatile G/F and offensive weapon that helped lead Syracuse to a Final Four. Gbinije often goes unmentioned in the lores of Syracuse Basketball but averaging 17 ppg as a senior and Second Team All-ACC is good enough to make the bench of the all decade team. 

Bench- Rakeem Christmas (2008-2012)

  • Rakeem Christmas was a punchline for much of his first three seasons in Syracuse, often being pulled one to two mins into the game following the tip off. His senior season was arguably the best season of any Syracuse big man in the decade. 17ppg 9rpg, ACC Most Improved Player, First Team All ACC and Third Team All American. Rakeem Christmas was a nightmare to defend in the post and was an absolute terror in the middle of the 2-3 zone.

Notable Omissions  

  • Where is Malachi Richardson? Where is Tyler Lydon? Where is Jerami Grant? Trevor Cooney? Many players ingrained in Syracuse lore from the last decade had short stints with the Orange. Jerami Grant has made a nice career for himself in the NBA but never really stood out in Central New York. Richardson’s second half dominance and Lydon’s shoeless three against Virginia will live with me and many fans forever, their careers do not make my list. Don’t like it? Make your own list.

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