And yet, if I've learned anything this time of year, it's to never make the assumption that just because something seems a certain way, that's how it will go.
In 2008, the Orange stumbled their way to the NIT with the help freshmen Jonny Flynn and Donte Greene. While both had flashes of brilliance, neither was what you would call a sure-thing to get drafted. Especially not Greene, who had great scoring ability but not much else.
In 2009, we were all pretty sure Jonny Flynn was gone. We thought there might be a chance Eric Devendorf leaves. But we were all pretty confident that Paul Harris would be back for another season to help form a formidable front line.
Flynn, Devo & Harris all left.
In 2012, Fab Melo was a fruit loop and Dion Waiters was the sixth man. We heard rumblings but figured at least one of them would end up staying.
Both Melo and Dion left.
It's not really a question of talking yourself into the reasons Fair should stay. Most of them are reasons that make sense for you more than they do for him. He would be Syracuse's star player. He would be a favorite for ACC Player of the Year. He could smash records. He'd have played for four years (honoring his contract).
All of that is well and good but it doesn't matter. Will an NBA team take a chance on C.J., that's the only thing that matters. Not to mention factors such as family financial situation, desire to go pro, etc...
And like I said, my guess is no (and it's a lot of other people's guess as well).
If C.J. does decide to risk it, it will suck for us but we'll wish him well (all the while shaking our heads knowing the torture to come on draft night). If he decides to stay, we'll talk ourselves into a return to the Final Four on his coattails before the season ever starts.
Whatever he decides, try not to get too attached to one option or the other beforehand. You really never know.