This is part one of two, and the second part will run tomorrow.
Boeheim’s Army GM Kevin Belbey wasted no time turning around from a 2021 TBT Tournament Championship to assemble another heavily talented team playing for title contention again.
The new 2022 roster is once again made up of former Syracuse and non-Syracuse collegiate and professional players. As we look ahead to this year’s tournament and Boeheim’s Army squad, here are each player’s top career moment.
Andrew White III- 40 point Senior Day win over Georgia Tech
Although only a one year Syracuse player, veteran wing Andrew White III celebrated his Senior Day in Orange by dropping 40 points on 75% shooting against the Yellow Jackets.
The regular season finale brought Syracuse to 18-13 on the year but eventually falling short of an NCAA bid. However this performance by White on his Senior Day still remains significant because of the pure efficiency of the shooting guard.
White shot 8-9 from the three point arc against Georgia Tech and had almost half of the teams ninety points. With the largest attendance in college basketball that year at the Dome, the senior guard brought in on his day, creating his best memory at Syracuse.
C.J. Fair- OT Dunk on Otto Porter Jr vs Georgetown
To close out the Big East era in 2013, Syracuse faced Georgetown in the Big East Conference Semifinals for the last ever conference matchup between the historic rivals. The overtime thriller was down to the wire in historic Madison Square Garden between two top teams in the country.
Despite finishing with just six points on 3-16 shooting, Fair drove to the rim up two with less than two minutes left. An emphatic slam over Otto Porter Jr. pumped up Fair and Syracuse to get the job done late and advance to the Big East Finals.
With the stakes of the final Big East tournament and the rivalry at hand, Fair’s legendary posterizer slam over the Big East Player of the year always stands out in his career at Syracuse.
D.J. Kennedy- 2013 G-league Championship Game
Playing for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in 2013, D.J. Kennedy helped his team to what was then titled the D-League Championship Game. In an important winner take all game, Kennedy, coached alongside future Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, stepped up against the Santa Cruz Warriors to prevail for the title.
Kennedy led the championship game in scoring with 27 points. Tallying seven rebounds and six assists to go along with his scoring totals the forward put together his best game to win the Vipers the title.
The performance got Kennedy a Summer League contract with the Miami Heat the following year in 2014.
Kyle Witjer- Consecutive Threes in NCAA Title Run
As a freshman in a stacked 2012 title team for Kentucky, Kyle Wiltjer was a spark off the bench all season with 35 3s in his entire rookie campaign.
Through March in the Big Dance, Wiltjer hit a 3 in four consecutive NCAA tournament games for the Wildcats. Despite barely seeing minutes in the tournament due to the historical Kentucky starting five, Wiltjer made an impact during their run when he could.
In four straight games including the National Semifinals against Louisville, Wiltjer knocked down perimeter shots en route to a championship banner. Eventually transferring to Gonzaga, Wiltjer’s freshman season and championship stretch will always be remembered most.