The worst kept secret in Syracuse basketball is finally out. Center DaShonte Riley is leaving the Syracuse program and transferring to Eastern Michigan where he'll be reunited with Rob Murphy, according to Donna Ditota.
Riley’s mother, Colette Anderson, confirmed her son’s decision to transfer in a telephone conversation Wednesday afternoon.
Riley, a Michigan native who attended Detroit Country Day before coming to Syracuse, sat out the 2010-11 season due to a foot injury. He averaged 1.4 points and 1.5 rebounds as a freshman in the 2009-10 season.
Anyone who's visited an SU message board in the last 2-3 months have been aware of the rumors about DaShonte Riley's impending departure. Riley made some cryptic remarks on his Twitterfeed a few months ago that were interpreted as his need for a fresh start, which he then denied and then promptly closed his feed down.
According to his mother, he "wasn’t unhappy at Syracuse, but he had grown concerned over health issues that plagued both of his grandparents." I don't doubt the sincerity of that, though it is convenient that he's going to play for Coach Murphy. His mother does mention that Riley wanted to transfer as far back as January.
Riley will seek a waiver to play immediately since he's coming off a season in which he already sat out due to a foot injury.
We wish DaShonte well but his departure suddenly raises major concerns for the Orange frontcourt. What once seemed like a position deeper than it's been in years, the center spot is now rather worrisome. Riley is gone, Fab Melo is dealing with big off-court problems and Baye Moussa Keita is good but not a dependable scorer. We were expecting Riley to come back hungry and prove his worth over the three younger guys vying for his playing time. Now, the spot is Fab Melo's the lose, and that's not a very comforting thought to Syracuse fans.
Rakeem Christmas, if you weren't already feeling the pressure to perform right away, you will now. We're counting on you.
Fare thee well, Shon. We'll always remember you for the way you scared the crap out of us filling in for Arinze Onuaku in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Considering who the new coach is at EMU, I'm willing to bet we'll still see you play one more time in the Dome.