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Is It Don'te Leave Or Don'te Stay?

This season, rooting for Donte Greene has turned Syracuse fans into a giant group of neurotic flip-floppers. We're excited for him to succeed...but not too much. We want him to score 30 points a game,but we don't want anyone to notice. We want him to dominate the Big East and return Syracuse to glory but do it in a way where he returns for his sophomore year, unlike Carmelo. Then again, have you seen his stats latley? And the way he chucks up so many shots? Maybe he SHOULD go.

Rooting for Donte Greene to succeed is like rooting for your fantasy football team the week your star player is playing your favorite team. You want to win...but which way?

Every highly-touted Syracuse freshman is doomed to play in the shadow of Carmelo Anthony and be considered a bit of a disappointment when he doesn't repeat that success (just ask Paul Harris). But with the early season he was having, it sure looked like Donte was at least on his way to matching Carmelo stats-wise, if not team success-wise.

Unfortunatly for Orange fans, his early success was double-sided. He not only started showing up in NBA draft previews, but he was showing in the lottery. He even started showing up as a top ten, even top five pick in some.
Then the bottom dropped out. Since the UConn game, Donte has scored in single-digits three out of five games. He hasn't broken the 20-point barrier in 8 games. He threw up a 2-15 shooting performance against the Huskies, 7-22 against Georgetown and 3-15 against Louisville. (See all his stats here)

The wheels came off.
And apparently, so now has Donte Grene's name from NBA mock drafts (here and here). The market has spoken...despite his promise and ability Donte Greene is not ready for the NBA. Syracuse fans rejoice!

Or not. There's a strange disappointment in all of it. Donte the Sure Thing is now Donte the Enigma. Worse yet, Donte the Chucker.

Sure, he's probably coming back for another year now but the grumblings have started...would we be better off without him? If he were gone, The Flynn-Harris connection could blossom even further. Devo and Rautins wouldn't have to fight for shots as much. With Greene? We have to account for his shots and quite frankly, if he's gonna put up 20% shooting every other night on 17-20 that worth it?

At the end of the day, Greene is still a freshman and a very hyped one at that. He's aware of a campaign across campus by his fellow students to make him stay at SU and I don't care who you are, something like that goes to your head. Starts making you feel like you need to prove you're worth all the trouble. That you need to keep throwing up shots even if you're not hitting them, just because that's what's expected of you.

Maybe Greene comes back next year a little older, a little wiser and willing to share the load. Maybe he comes back and throws up 30 shots a night and implodes the team as a whole. Not sure at the moment...but assuming he doesn't pull a Gerry McNamara on us in the BET, the one thing we can feel a little more sure of right now is that he'll probably be back next year. For better or worse.
(Thanks Matt for the draft heads-up)