Now that the 2013-14 season is over, it’s a good time to give out our grades for this year:
Tyler Ennis, A: Ennis showed plenty of poise and leadership that went well beyond his status as a freshman. A steady point guard who rarely made poor decisions, he was one of the driving forces behind SU’s 25-0 start. We’ll always remember him for his 35-foot heave against Pittsburgh to beat the clock.
Trevor Cooney, B: The mercurial guard shot 50 percent from downtown in non-conference play and then just 30 percent against ACC teams. Still, Cooney improved across the board from his freshman campaign, and will likely become more consistent in his junior year.
CJ Fair, A: Fair was about as consistent a player you could hope for. While his outside shooting suffered in his final season, he was still a dependable presence in the zone and on offense. There are few players who improved in their time at Syracuse more than Fair did.
Jerami Grant, B+: Grant put his full athleticism on display this year, becoming a regular on ESPN’s Top 10. Grant’s steadily improving outside jumper could make him a monster if he decides to return for his junior year.
Rakeem Christmas, B: Christmas was once again solid in manning the middle of the zone, and is starting to develop a low-post game. If he can make that hook in the paint a consistent offensive threat, then he is due for an outstanding senior year.
DaJuan Coleman, C: Though Coleman’s season was stalled by a knee surgery midway through the year, we saw enough of him to know that Coleman still has a long way to go in his progression. He is still a liability on the defensive end, and isn’t consistent enough on offense to warrant additional minutes at this point.
Michael Gbinije, C+: Gbinije never fully looked comfortable as the team’s backup point guard and never showed the ability to be a second outside scoring threat to complement Cooney. But he was still solid on the defensive end, and his versatility to slide down to the wing spot made him a valuable bench player.
Baye Moussa Keita, C-: Was there any Syracuse center who regressed on the offensive end as much as Keita did in his four years on campus? It’s doubtful. While we’ll always remember Keita’s heart and hustle, he was the textbook definition of having to play 4 on 5 on offense.
Tyler Roberson, C: Roberson came the closest of the non-Ennis freshmen to cracking the rotation, even earning a start when Grant was out with a back injury. But while you could see flickers of Roberson’s potential, he wasn’t able to cash in on it in his freshman year.
Bus Patterson, BJ Johnson, INC: The two freshman played a combined 20 games and 109 minutes in the season.
Jim Boeheim, B: This grade is a combination of Syracuse’s 25-0 start, which merits an A, and its 3-6 finish, including losses to ACC doormats Boston College and Georgia Tech, which merits a C. Perhaps the start of the season raised expectations too much for a team with an inexperienced backcourt and only one proven scorer returning from the front court. Either way, a third round NCAA exit wasn’t the type of conclusion that many were hoping for.
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