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Seeing The Orangey Forest From The Trees

Is the Syracuse basketball program better off in the long run by faltering this season? Would we be better off if the team failed to meet expectations? Would it cause Donte Greene (and Jonny Flynn) to shove off any notion of going pro so they can stay at least a little while longer and if so, wouldn't it be worth it?

Cause like it or not, it's a reality SU fans need to own up to.
Donte Greene is a lottery pick right now. RIGHT NOW. Hell, in some circles he's a top ten pick and even higher. If the Orange were 16-3 right now, we'd probably be discussing him for the first pick in the draft. Jonny Flynn, while not having his name thrown around in the lottery discussion just yet, is getting some love for draftniks as well. Sure he might not go top twenty but if you don't think a team would take a flyer on Flynn in the 2nd round right now you're in denial.

Donte and Jonny are saying all the right things about how much they love it here, how they want to be on campus, continue wearing a SU uniform and all that jazz. It's great to hear and it's just what we want to hear. And you know what...Carmelo said the exact same stuff. Carmelo even insinuated he was going to stay at SU for all four years at one point.

Now, I'm not calling out Carmelo and I don't actually think anyone took him seriously about the four-years thing. And I don't think anyone blames him for leaving since he'd accomplished everything he could have wanted to. And that's the point. If the Orange go to the NCAA Tournament this year with a national ranking, a 26-7 record and make the Sweet 16...that's a helluva season. It's not a championship but it's probably enough to say to two blue chip freshmen that they need to strike while the iron is hot and go pro.

I don't know these guys personally so I don't know how serious they are about going pro. My gut tells me Flynn's coming back no matter what and Donte's decision will be based largely on where he's projected in the draft when it's all said and done. If the Orange continue to have a mediocre season and finish in the NIT, it will certainly reflect on Donte and his status. Most importantly, it will probably alert him to the fact that he's still got some learnin' to do.

Am I suggesting we openly root for the Orange to tank the season? Absolutely not. I want SU to win every game they play. I'd much rather deal with the consequences of being really good over the consequences of being sucky. All I'm saying is, if the Orange's season ends and it didn't end up all that well but it acts as a sounding board for these guys to commit to at least one more season with us...a season that will see the return of Devo and Rautins...a season that will provide even more depth with another solid freshman class...well, I can live with that.