Stuffing some Syracuse stockings with a few last minute Christmas gifts

While the weather outside in upstate New York will undoubtedly be frightful (if it isn’t already), Jim Boeheim and the Orange tend to make the Carrier Dome delightful, for the fans, that is. But with Boehiem preparing to navigate Syracuse’s maiden voyage into ACC waters and football Head Coach Scott Shafer preparing his team to take on Minnesota in the Texas Bowl, neither one has the time to send Santa his Christmas list. That’s where we here at The Juice Online come in. So without further ado…

Fair has been a Christmas gift for SU fans

CJ Fair

ACC Player of the Year, a spot on all the First Team All American teams and a first round selection in the NBA Draft. Fair is a classic Boeheim four-year player who has transformed himself from trying to crack the rotation as a freshman to one of the best players in the country as a senior. He’s followed in the footsteps of such players as Kueth Duany, Hakim Warrick, Andy Rautins and most recently, James Southerland. The Orange has its sights set on a return trip to the Final Four. As The Guy on this year’s squad, Fair will be counted on to do the heavy lifting.

Terrel Hunt

Continuity with his emerging receiving corps. Thanks to his pass to Josh Parris with six seconds to play against Boston College, Hunt will have a couple more weeks of practice time as Syracuse prepares for the Texas Bowl. Once ACC play began, Hunt struggled mightily with the passing game. Towards the end of the season he seemed find his footing with targets Parris, Brisly Estime, Alvin Cornelius and Ashton Broyld. Corey Cooper will be a January enrollee and will participate in spring practice. The next progression Hunt needs to make is through the air if SU is to contend in the ACC. With a full stable of running backs (Prince-Tyson Gulley, George Morris II and Devante McFarlane), a legit air attack will take the Orange offense to the next level.

» Related: This year’s Syracuse hoops team will be the best team in last 5 years

Scott Shafer

A stud New York recruit. When Doug Marrone was hired, he made keeping New York players home a priority. That practice continues under Shafer. Through no lack of effort, SU has yet to reel in that first big Empire State fish. Players such as Dominique Easley (Florida), Jarron Jones and Ishaq Williams (Notre Dame), Ebenezer Ogundeko (Clemson), Chad Mavety (Florida State) and Thomas Holley (Penn State) have all sought out greener pastures. Landing that first major recruit, and beating out some of the big boys to do it, will show other top flight New York talents that they can thrive at Syracuse.

Sean Hickey

A 12-year career of protecting quarterback’s blind sides if he chooses to toss his name into the NFL Draft after the season.

Syracuse Hoops fans

The wisdom to stop the clap-until-the-first-bucket ritual. Really, it only serves to deflate the crowd and perpetuate the “wine and cheese Sunday drive” stereotype. The fact that Syracuse winters are brutally cold isn’t a valid excuse to warm your hands by sitting on them. This is the ACC now. Duke, Carolina and next year, Louisville. Big boy hoops! Stop waiting for a 16-2 Orange run to make some noise. Be loud! All. Game. Long.

Jim Boeheim

A verbal from 2015 shooting stud Malachi Richardson. Santa came early for you, Jim!

DaJuan Coleman

Back Line Zone Defense 101. Coleman has the potential to be a dominant scorer in the post. Improved defense is the only way to stay on the court to do so.

» Related: Analyzing Syracuse basketball in “clutch” situation

Dr. Gross

The ability to realize you’re robbing loyal football fans of great out of conference home games by selling them to New Jersey. USC, Penn State and Notre Dame. Really, Doc? Really? Your reasons for doing so are (probably) money, national exposure and a recruiting boost (hopefully) from that exposure. Better idea: Win the game and that will take care of all of those! And what better way to accomplish that than by creating an electric atmosphere that players will thrive in and the fans can easily get to? Hint: think Carrier Dome. When you stick the Penn State game in Jersey to start the year, is it any wonder that less than forty thousand turn out in the finale against BC with bowl eligibility on the line? It shouldn’t be.

Quinta Funderburk and Jeremiah Kobena

A break-out year next season. Both of these guys were supposed to help the passing game immensely this year. Use the bowl practices and three weeks in the spring to build chemistry with Hunt. The WR corps will receive a huge boost if both players become viable options.

And lastly, a very special gift for anyone in the media who decides to hop on the yearly “Syracuse never leaves New York and never plays anyone in the out of conference slate” bandwagon (cough…Doug Gottlieb…cough): A huge lump of coal. Minnesota, Cal and Baylor in the Maui, Indiana in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, at St. John’s and vs. Villanova. If you’re going to beat that horse again, do us all a favor. Don’t say anything!

So on this Christmas Eve, Merry Cusemas to all! And to all, an Orange Night!

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About Steve Auger 165 Articles
Steve Auger is a freelance writer whose work has covered a variety of topics including sports, pets, parenting, healthy living, local government and human interest stories. Steve’s been a diehard Syracuse sports fan for over 25 years. To this day, the words “Smart takes the shot” still make him cringe. And according to Rutgers' fans, he's "not a take."