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The Circle Of Disappointment Begins Anew

Incoming Syracuse basketball recruit is really showing off a lot of flair and ability as his Orange playing days get closer. Ranked ninth among small forwards by Scout.com, Joseph played in two all-star games over the course of the last eight days after wrapping up a spectacular high school career. He's well on his way to becoming the next freshman phenom.

More important than stats and skills though, Joseph has also already proved himself adept at playing the game off the court as well.
"I feel there are too many kids who leave college unprepared. I plan on staying for four years. I'm all for the rule."
And with that, a freshman phenom from the Greater Baltimore area attending Syracuse has made a preemptive claim that he will not be leaving after his first season, thereby beginning anew the circle that Donte Greene, and Carmelo Anthony before him, completed. Joseph still has a long way to go in his public relations cat-and-mouse game with the Syracuse faithful who will alternatively root for him to put up 20 points a game next season while also praying he escapes the ever-seeing eyes of Mordor NBA Scouts.

Joseph has completed step one of the 13-step process that Syracuse fans already know so well. But just to recap:

1. Put out a preemptive soundbite before or early on in the season that makes it clear you are not thinking about leaving after one year. Absolutely not. That's crazytalk.

2. Begin season slow. Not exactly disappointing by any means, but not living up to the hype that preceded you, thereby quieting the NBA discussion.

3. Begin picking up your game and playing well enough that the fear creeps back in. Let simmer.

4. Publicly comment on the campus-wide push to convince you to stay at least one more year. Make light of it by either commenting that you'll stay for all four years or wear the catchy slogan'd T-shirt that is circulating the grounds.

5. Stay mum for 1-2 months while Syracuse fans fight their instincts and convince themselves that your handful of comments are proof that you have no problem continuing to play basketball for free and with no guarantees against injury in the face of millions of dollars, Fortune 500 endorsements and scores of groupies who are well-versed in the ways of pleasuring a man, far more so than some sophomore from Tri-Delt says she's only been with two guys but we know it's really more like five, could ever know.

6. Make one last comment or gesture that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that you will stay
at least one more season. Do this just as the postseason is about to begin as you've still got a good 2-3 weeks before you need to own up. Enjoy the ride.

7. As the postseason draws to a close, drop the first hint that you may be kinda sorta possibly thinking of going pro but it's not that likely but you never know but I gotta talk it over and think about some stuff and whatever.

8. Go quiet and let the Syracuse fans commit mental hari kari over tricking themselves once again.

9. Let it leak that you've decided to go pro. Make no comment either way.

10. Go pro.

11. Leave a sliver of hope by saying you're not going to sign with an agent right away. Allow for those few, remaining poor souls to believe that there's a chance you could come back and save them.

12. Sign with an agent.

13. Start looking at real estate in Sioux City and/or Lithuania.