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Andy & Arinze Leave Their Mark, Who's Next?

See, this is why I love OrangeHoops...

Rautins and Onuaku were fifth year seniors, and because of injuries in their career, they played a year beyond their class graduation (2009). Who were the three Syracuse basketball players who should have been seniors on this year’s team?

The answer is: Paul Harris (who left in 2009 as a junior), Mike Jones (who left in 2007, as a freshman) and Devan Brennan-McBride (who left in 2008 as a sophomore). Neither Rautins nor Onuaku were part of this freshman class, nor was Eric Devendorf, who like his classmates Rautins & Onuaku, missed a season because of injury and would’ve been a fifth year senior if he had stayed.

How crazy is that?  Remember this when you think about the incoming freshman class and picture them all together in orange four years from now.

That's part of Ray's annual milestone post where he figures out how this season's players will leave their statistical legacy.  For Andy, he'll leave as the No. 2 three-point shooter in school history (behind some Gerry guy) and as the more successful Rautins in most scoring categories (Yep, another Rautins played at SU.  When I find out who one day, I will solve the mystery).  For Arinze, he leaves as the all-time best (in field goal percentage) and the all-time worst (free-throw percentage).  Take the good with the bad.

For Andy and Arinze, it's on to hopefully bigger and better things.  Andy officially has an agent, Bill Duffy, and you have to imagine AO will lock one down soon as well.  Of course, he's going to have to do a lot of proving when it comes to his knees as well.

For those left behind, fear not.  As the dust settled on '09-'10, it's becoming clearer and clearer that '10-'11 should be another solid season for the Orange.  They've have the talent and some experienced leaders.  The big question will be whether or not they can replace the firepower walking out the door.

Whether the veterans can generate the same kind of cohesiveness that made this year's team special is the big question. The fact that there was no visible turmoil - except for an early season ripple caused by Jones when he wasn't playing as much as he thought he should - certainly helped keep the team psyche on an even keel. But the loss of the leaders such as Rautins and Onuaku will be difficult to replace.

If this season taught us anything, it's that expectations are a funny thing.  Also, nobody knows nothing.  So wherever SU ends up in those way-too-early preseason polls we shouldn't worry about it.  Those people don't know what they're talking about any more than you or I.