2014 NBA Draft: What Did Syracuse Fans Learn?

Mike Stobe

The 2014 NBA Draft is in the books. Tyler Ennis went in the first round, Jerami Grant went in the second round and C.J. Fair did not get drafted at all. What did we all learn?

1. Tyler Ennis made the right decision.

Yes, Tyler would have improved even more as a sophomore at Syracuse but now he gets to improve while playing in the NBA and making a guarenteed million-dollar salary. You can make all the arguments you want for staying in school but if you're good enough to be picked 18th in the first round of the NBA Draft, you were right to go.

2. Jerami Grant probably should have stayed, but...

Not a huge shocker here given what we had been hearing. You're not Nostradamus if you predicted Grant would drop to the second round. Here's the thing, though...I can't help but feel like Grant still comes out okay here. He's going to a terrible franchise where his chances of making the roster and getting legit playing time are much higher than if he had gone late first-round. If he had returned to SU, how much would he have really driven his stock up? He's athletic and has plenty of intangibles but if those qualities are so amazing, he would have gone first-round this year. An improved jumper will only do so much.

My point being...Jerami wouldn't be drafted THAT much higher next year. Just look at C.J. How did that extra year help him?

3. C.J. Fair is what he is.

C.J. Fair is a fantastic player and, by all accounts, a great guy. He deserved to be drafted if for no other reason than he has all of the qualities of a young man we want basketball players to be. If he were a contestant on The Bachelorette, you would say he was there for The Right Reasons. But...the NBA Draft is a cruel mistress. It's based on potential, not results (For the rest of time you will remember that Fab Melo was a first-round pick and C.J. Fair didn't get drafted at all).

I'm glad C.J. came back to Syracuse. Without him, this past season might have been a disaster. Plus, he finished school and made his mark on the program. But returning to school did nothing to get his draft stock up any higher. An argument could be made that it hurt his stock, if anything. The Draft loves mystery and the unknown. There is no more unknown to C.J. And that's not sexy.

The good news is that Fair isn't beholden to any team, he can find a good fit for the Summer League and try to do what James Southerland did and work his way onto a roster.

4. Boeheim was right but also not but also whatever you want him to be.

The immediate reaction as Jerami Grant slipped into the second round was that "Jim Boeheim was right!" And he was...he saw the writing on the wall and knew Grant didn't have the resume to be a first round pick. We knew Boeheim was probably right...I just personally didn't like the way he poisoned the well for Jerami, publicly or otherwise. But in his disdain for Ennis & Grant leaving early, Boeheim also trotted out C.J. as proof that you should stay in college for as long as you can, something that didn't exactly bear out in the results.

Now, you could make the case that has more to do with C.J. and not the fact that he stayed four years. And Fair may still end up parlaying his skill into an NBA gig. So while Boeheim was right in saying Grant should have stayed, he probably isn't right in saying Fair should have stayed last season, at least not in terms of draftability.

What else did you learn?

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