TOWNSVILLE AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 14: Eric Devendorf of the Tigers attempts to make a lay up past Rosell Hinder of the Crocodiles during the round 14 NBL match between the Townsville Crocodiles and the Melbourne Tigers at Townsville Entertainment Centre on January 14 2011 in Townsville Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)
The NBDL season is over and the Reno Bighorns finished with a less-than-stellar 21-29 record. However, don't blame Eric Devendorf for that. The former Syracuse Orange star averaged 11 PPG in 26 games for the Bighorns this season. That includes scoring 20 or more points in each of the last five games of the season.
After a stint with the Idaho Stampede, Devo seemed to finally find a place he fit in. After his magical run to becoming The Greatest Person In The History of New Zealand, Devo has literally bounced around the world with disappointing results. A brief stint in Australia was followed by a brief stint in Turkey and then that brief stint in Idaho.
Now, however, he seems to be finding his groove and he's got people in the organization backing him up.
He gave us exactly what we needed," Bighorns head coach Paul Mokeski said. "We were hoping he would grow into that role and, truthfully, he exceeded our expectations the last couple weeks. He became our second or third option, which is pretty rare coming off the bench.
"Like a lot of players, when he's given the right situation and the right opportunity, things like that can happen."
"A lot of guys in our league have reputation problems, whether it's off the court or on the court," Mokeski said. "They can be pigeon-holed because of stuff that happened in the past. But as long as you learn from it and grow from it, you're heading in the right direction. And he did a great job of that.
"He got the distractions out of his life and focused on his craft."
Devo also spoke with SLAM Online recently and talked about how he feels about leaving Syracuse early and the school's impending move to the ACC.
Devo remembers the team's magical run through the Big East Tournament, winning four games in four days:
Ah man it was incredible. Just the excitement throughout the university and New York City, ’cause you know New York City is predominately Syracuse fans and just the energy the crowd gave me—I just fed off of that. And during that whole run it was just a bunch of excitement running through me the whole time. When we finally won, it just all came out. So it was a really good time.
Devo seems to have regrets about leaving SU early right before saying he has no regrets.
I think a lot of the reason the choice was made was that I had two little girls, and maybe it was a little bit too early to enter the Draft for me—maybe I should’ve stayed—but at that time I was just thinking about my family. No regrets, just a different road to get to the level that I would like to be at.
Coach Boeheim supported everything I did, and it was my choice 100 percent and he would’ve stuck with me if I stayed or if I left. Coach is a good dude, and I talk to him in the summer all the time and he had my back all the time at Syracuse.
And Devo isn't a big fan of Syracuse's upcoming move to the ACC.
You know, it’s really disappointing because, for Syracuse fans, there are no more Big East tournaments in Madison Square Garden, and, in my opinion, it is the best tournament in college basketball so you lose that right there. From another standpoint, the competition level will be outstanding in the ACC. It’s a money move obviously, and I guess money talks.
Go read that whole interview here.