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Begun, These Draft Declarations Have

Rivals is the latest place to buy in that the Syracuse Orange will be a force to be reckoned with in 2009-2010.  The caveat in all of these cases being that players like Jonny Flynn, Eric Devendorf et al. are returning to play.

As we all know, the 2009-2010 Syracuse basketball team currently has more people committed to play than scholarships available.  Naturally, someone has to go, or change their status.  SU fans have been waiting to hear names like Sean Williams and Kris Joseph while dreading hearing some of the more prominent ones.  Sorry folks, commence full-on dread.

First, according to sources, the D.O. Sports Blog is reporting that Eric Devendorf will declare himself eligible for the NBA Draft soon.

It is unknown whether or not Devendorf, a fourth-year junior, will hire an agent. If he does not, Devendorf has until June 15 to withdraw his name from the draft and still maintain his final year of eligibility.

I'm not so sure this is a declaration for the NBA or just a declaration to go pro period.  I can't imagine Devo is on anyone's draft boards at the moment and at best he's looking at some tryouts next summer and then it's off to some European or Asian country where he can make a decent living for a while. 

Much more to come on this if it's for real...especially a discussion on whether or not Syracuse is actually better off if Devo does leave.

Devo leaving will have some effect on the preseason hype but really these early rankings are because of Jonny Flynn.  And while there is no official word from Flynn that he is going to test the pro waters, there's plenty of information out there to assume as much.  Obviously there's Jim Boeheim's statement that he's telling Flynn to declare without an agent to see where his stock is.  Then, there's word today that Flynn was spotted in the athletics office with his family for...what?  No idea, but surely the folks didn't just decide to visit for the Manley Field House tour.

And what of Paul Harris.  Harris has made no public comment or appearance since saying he didn't know what the future holds after the Oklahoma loss.  Attempts to get in touch with him have gone unreturned.

Still a lot that can happen before the final deadline to declare for realsies.  And even if Jonny declares (agentlessly) tomorrow, he's still not off the books until he makes it official official.  But Syracuse fans are about to find out just how realistic all these preseason top ten rankings are.  For better or worse.

H/T: John M.

UpdateRyan Miller spoke on the phone with Devo who "said he has not officially declared."  Not a denial by any means.