Traditonally, Syracuse Orange basketball players haven't done exceedingly well in the NBA. While Carmelo Anthony has risen to great heights, there are plenty of guys who fizzled or didn't live up to expectations. The good news is that there's been Jason Hart and Etan Thomas, both of whom had lengthy careers. And now Dion Waiters is proving himself, hopefully paving the way for Michael Carter-Williams (AND THAT'S IT) next year.
Seven former Syracuse standouts made significant contributions during the 2012-13 NBA Developmental League regular season. Four of the six helped lead their respective teams into the D-League postseason.
There was Paul Harris, who averaged 16.9 points and 8.8 rebounds in 47 games for the Iowa Energy.
His former Boston Celtics battery mate, Fab Melo, averaged 9.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game in 33 games for Maine. They made it to the first round of the playoffs.
Demetris Nichols(!) is still chugging along. Nichols, who I think played for Syracuse in 1917, averaged 18.7 points and 5.4 rebounds for the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
And Rick Jackson, who averaged a double-double during the regular season (10.8 ppg., 10.0 rpg.) and still has the Austin Toros in the playoffs.
Don't forget Arinze Onuaku, who scored 12.6 points and grabbed 9.5 rebounds in 38 games for the Canton Charge, who were eliminated from the playoffs by the Tulsa 66ers.
And speaking of the 66ers, Andy Rautins aveaged 13.5 PPG in 48 games and has the team still in the playoff hunt.
If the Austin Toros can beat Santa Cruz and the Tulsa 66ers can top Rio Grande, we'll have a showdown between Rick Jackson and Andy Rautins in the finals. Together again...this time, mortal enemies. Or just playing on opposing teams. Either/or.