It has been a rollercoaster ride for Syracuse basketball in the last five seasons. Its results have been all over the map from being banned from postseason activity in the 2014-15 season to its improbable run to the Final Four in the year.
In between, Syracuse has been eliminated in the Sweet 16 and also in the second round of the NIT. But who are the best players that comprised the Orange in the last five years?
We present to you the All-Syracuse first and second teams for the last five years:
ALL SYRACUSE FIRST TEAM
Tyler Ennis. In his lone season at Syracuse, Ennis led the Orange to the No. 1 ranking, while hitting one of the most famous buzzer beaters in Orange lore. His halfcourt heave against Pitt kept the Orange perfect at 24-0, and though the Orange was upset by Dayton in the NCAA tournament, Ennis deserves a spot on the First Team.
Malachi Richardson. Syracuse’s improbable run to Final Four in the 2015-16 season was highlighted by Richardson’s second half explosion against Virginia in the Elite 8. He scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half, and ended up with 17 points in SU’s loss against North Carolina in the National Semifinal.
Tyus Battle. Battle’s sophomore season average of 19.2 points per game was Syracuse’s best single-season average since Hakim Warrick’s 21.4 ppg in the 2004-05 campaign. Battle was SU’s most consistent offensive option on a team that surprised many by making the Sweet 16.
CJ Fair. Fair started as a relatively unheralded recruit in a monster 2010 recruiting class that included Dion Waiters and Fab Melo. But Fair blossomed into one of Syracuse’s best players by his senior year, and scored 28 points in a dramatic 91-89 win in overtime in a matchup in Duke and Syracuse’s first game as ACC foes.
Rakeem Christmas. Though Christmas had three mostly forgettable seasons at Syracuse, he was SU’s go-to player in his senior season, and led the Orange with averages of 17.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. For his efforts, he was a First Team All-ACC selection and a Third Team AP All American.
ALL SYRACUSE SECOND TEAM
Michael Gbinije: Gbinije was one of Syracuse’s key players in its 2016 Final Four run, leading the the Orange in scoring that season with 17.5 points per game. He was one of SU’s most versatile players, starting his career as a wing, before eventually moving to shooting guard and then ending as a point guard.
Trevor Cooney: Cooney is the only player in Syracuse history to see playing time in two Final Four games in separate years. Though Cooney was never the kind of knock-down shooter he was projected to be, his defense at the top of the zone was underrated and he finished his senior season with 12.9 ppg.
Jerami Grant: Grant possessed incredible athleticism, and averaged 12.1 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in his sophomore season. Though Grant surprised many by jumping to the NBA and slipping into the second round, Grant has carved out a nice career as a reserve forward for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Oshae Brissett: Syracuse continued its strong Canadian pipeline by adding the multidimensional forward to its 2017 recruiting class. Brissett proved to be one of SU’s most valuable players in its Sweet 16 run, with his 15 points and nine rebounds keying an upset of third-seeded Michigan State in the Round of 32.
Tyler Lydon: Lydon will most be remembered for his block against Gonzaga’s Josh Perkins in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Though Lydon never became the alpha dog that many hoped that he’d be, his length and long ranged shooting earned him a spot in the Denver Nuggets organization.