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No Noel? No problem
A lot of Syracuse fans seem to believe that the 2012-2013 men’s basketball team will succeed only if Nerlens Noel is playing center for the Orange. While Noel would certainly help SU, the reality is that he is not likely to commit to SU on April 11.
Nonetheless, I believe SU already has enough depth at the center position to succeed should Noel end up in Lexington or playing for Big East rival Georgetown.
For the most part, Rakeem played well at center in the NCAAs. So did Baye Keita. Also, when talking about SU’s inside game next season, you cannot overlook how impactful DaJuan Coleman could be right away. He is strong and a natural rebounder. He got double digit rebounds in the McDonald’s All American Game and the All American Championships Game in New Orleans during Final Four weekend.
The bottom line is that SU will have a good, highly ranked team either with or without Noel. However, Keita, Christmas and Coleman all need to work hard to develop their bodies and their games. SU’s fate could depend as much on how seriously they attack improving their conditioning and their skills as it could any other factor related to next year’s team.
“The Decision” all over again
On Wednesday, one of the most sought after high school recruits (Nerlens Noel), will decide his college destination on ESPN. Many in the sports community, liken Noel’s ‘Decision’, with Lebron James highly publicized ESPN episode. After reading numerous reports, and tweets, I’ve come to the conclusion Nerlens Noel is an extremely intelligent person. He seems to make the right moves, when engaging his top three school’s fan bases!
My only problem with his skill set is his inability to rebound at a high rate, given his height. However, he seems much more stronger than Anthony Davis, when compared to this stage in their respective careers.
At the end of the day, Noel will benefit tremendously, by having an elite point guard distributing the ball to him. SU’s 2-3 zone can mask his lack of an offensive game, and help with his rebounding woes. Overall, Nerlens will be a great college athlete, and will develop substantially, with scorers surrounding him. Whichever team lands his services, will have to develop his post game, and will likely be a pre-season national title contender front runner.
Brandon Triche, the forgotten man
Cuse Nation is eagerly awaiting the “Decision 2012” with Nerlens Noel, which will come on April 11. But has anybody thought about what happens if he doesn’t put on the Orange hat? I, for one, will be pressing forward and looking to one man, Brandon Triche, the somewhat forgotten senior.
With Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph exiting the Dome after great careers, it will be Brandon Triche to take the reigns. As a junior, he averaged 22.5 minutes, just over nine points per game and consistently remained one of the best free throw shooters on the team. Cuse Nation watched as Triche provided a glimmer of hope down the stretch, going 2 for 4 from the 3-point line and 5 for 6 from the free throw line, only to see the team fall short to Ohio State in the Elite 8. Now, Boeheim will entrust his offense to both Triche and the sophomore Michael Carter-Williams.
JB reminded all of us throughout the season and into the NCAA Tournament that the seniors were the leaders, and the team would follow in their footsteps. While there is no doubt that Syracuse will have the supporting cast in 2012 with the likes of Fair, Christmas, Southerland, newcomer DaJuan Coleman and possibly Nerlens Noel, it will be up to Brandon Triche to corrale the troops and lead them onto the battlefield.
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