A familiar sight for Orange fans. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician is putting a bow on the 2011-12 Syracuse Orange basketball season by recapping how each scholarship player performed and looking forward to what lies ahead in 2012-13. In honor of their status as student-athletes (insert Fab Melo joke here) we will score each player’s performance on an A-F scale, and offer some suggestions on what they can work on in the offseason (a.k.a. "summer school").
Last, but not least, Theodore Todd "Mookie" Jones. It's hard to find too much positive to say about a guy who's done absolutely nothing in the three years he's been with the program. The one thing we know about Mookie is that he can shoot the heck out of the rock and usually isn't shy about it. He only shot a shade over 29% from three during the 2011-12 season, but even with this dip in accuracy, his 39.6% career rate places him fourth all time for Syracuse. That being said, most of these attempts came in garbage time and/or against teams that didn't belong in the same gym as the Orange. Shooting prowess aside, Mookie's primary contribution was simply not being a cancer in the locker room (ahem Deshaun Williams ahem).
Normally this is there the video of highlights would go, but this is the Mookpocalypse we're talking about here, so there aren't any.
Needs Improvement: Mookie might be a heck of a shooter...but that's all he brings to the table. A quick, confident release and great accuracy from range are good qualities to have, but they led Mookie to be a chucker. For whatever reason, Mookied just hasn't been able to "get it" in his time at Syracuse. This past season saw him shoot less and pass more, but also saw him see the court for the fewest minutes of his career. If Mookie is to redeem himself as a Syracuse basketball player, he really needs to improve every aspect of his besides spot up shooting. It's unlikely to happen, but it's not as if he has to look hard for holes in his game.
Summer School: More than any skill he can practice, Mookie needs to reexamine his commitment to the game. True, the severe dip in his minutes was caused laregly by the fact that there were five better players ahead of him at SG/SF. But Mookie would often pass up the opportunity to play in favor of letting walk-ons get some burn. I admire him wanting to be a good teammate. And I'm not going to begrudge a guy for taking advantage of a full ride to a top university even if he doesn't pan out as a player. Maybe Mookie's lazy. Maybe he just peaked in HS and was never going to get any better. If he's going to make any sort of mark during his last season in orange, though, it has to start with him wanting to. Reports are that, after leaving the team mid-season, Mookie is back in Syracuse and intends to re-join the team for the 2012-13 season. If that happens, I hope he does it with a renewed focus and dedication that will enable him to contribute to the program that has embraced him for the last three years.
Final Grade: D-