As we sit in the portion of the calendar where we find out which Syracuse basketball players will enter (or remain) in the NBA Draft, it’s a good time to see what the guys that have already made the jump to the league have done this season. Less than two weeks remain in the NBA regular season and more than a couple Syracuse guys have made headlines this season.
Jerami Grant. In his seventh season, Grant should be in line for his fair share of Most Improved Player votes. At 22.5 points per game, Grant is averaging nearly 10 points a game more than he has in any other season. His choice to leave Western Conference contender, Denver, for more of a role on the lowly Detroit Pistons has not paid off in the win column. But, it certainly has shed light on his individual game. However, with the Pistons in full tank mode, Grant has sat in six of the last 11 games. Given his play throughout the rest of the season, where he averaged at least 20 points in every month, the DNPs should not hurt his chances at the award.
Oshae Brissett. It has only been in recent weeks than Brissett has begun to make a name for himself on the NBA stage. After signing a 10-day contract with the Indiana Pacers on April 1 and a second one after that, the Pacers rewarded Brissett with a three-year contract to remain with the team. Why? Because, while filling in for the injury-riddled Pacers with guys like Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis out, Brissett has scored in double figures in eight straight games, including four double-doubles in that span.
Carmelo Anthony. Just this week, Anthony passed Elvin Hayes to move into 10th on the NBA all-time scoring list. In his second season with the Portland Trail Blazers, Anthony has settled nicely into his role as scorer off the bench. He has averaged over 13 points a game in less than 25 minutes per night for a Portland team gearing up to try to make a playoff run.
Michael Carter-Williams. The former NBA Rookie of the Year has averaged almost 26 minutes a night for the Orlando Magic this season, coming off the bench when the team has been healthy, but capable of filling in as a starter. Carter-Williams has continued his ways of being able to do a little bit of everything, averaging almost nine points, over four rebounds and over four assists per game.
Elijah Hughes. On a team that currently owns the best record in the sport, minutes have been hard to come by for Hughes. Playing in just 16 games this season, Hughes has averaged just 3.5 minutes. Of all the former Syracuse players currently in the NBA, though, Hughes may have the best shot at walking away with a championship ring this season.