2006 Syracuse Orange Basketball Preview
2006 Syracuse Orange Basketball Predictions
Yes, Gerry McNamara and his 2,099 points are gone. But that doesn’t mean that the cupboard is bare for the Orange, who return four starters, three of whom are seniors. This team will be highly competitive in the Big East.
Sophomore Eric Devendorf (12.2 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 2.3 APG, 44.5 FG%, 82.1 FT%) will be asked to assume at least part of the McNamara mantle. Josh Wright (4.3 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 1.6 APG, 42.7 FG%, 74.6 FT%), a junior who was number two point, will get the opportunity to show his stuff. Then there’s freshman guard/forward Paul Harris. Harris is huge—6’ 5” and 220-pounds—but athletic and extremely versatile. He will start.
The front men are big and experienced. Senior forward Demetris Nichols (13.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.4 APG, 42.7 FG%, 67.7 FT%) can hit the three. Look for him to expand on his inside opportunities this season. Senior center Darryl Watkins (7.1 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 0.7 APG, 52.4 FG%, 53.8 FT%) came into his own in the final third of last season. He should continue to improve. Senior forward Terrence Roberts (10.7 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 1.6 APG, 55.8 FG%, 42.1 FT%) certainly has the talent and athleticism to excel but has not developed as much as had been expected. He’s not bad, just not as good as he could be.
Head coach Jim Boeheim (23- 12 overall and 7- 9 Big East, 726- 253 in 30 years with Syracuse) certainly respected what Gerry McNamara brought to the table. Who can forget his pronouncement last season when he exclaimed, “Without Gerry McNamara, we wouldn’t have won 10 (expletive omitted) games this year.” Although McNamara, his points and his go-to toughness are gone, Boeheim has planned for the future without Big Mac.
The Orange stunned the Big East last season by winning the conference tournament and securing a NCAA berth. They lost in the NCAA Tournament in round one. The other Orange starters were beginning to step up at that time. If that trend continues, Syracuse could do better than its ninth place Big East finish of last year. NCAA? Yes.
If you want more info on the 2006 Syracuse Orange College basketball team check out the NCAA's official basketball team page of the program or check out some rival previews from Maddux Sports of schools like the Marquette Golden Eagles and Connecticut Huskies.