After spending a couple of years with the Syracuse University basketball program, Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim and his talented staff leave many student-athletes ready to play at the next level. While it may not necessarily transfer into NBA talent, many former Orangemen get a chance to take their talents overseas and continue their careers. Here is a look at some of the former players to don the orange and blue and what they are currently doing.
Brandon Triche has had a successful first pro year. He won an Italian title with Trento in the Italian Second Division. One year removed from a Final Four appearance, Triche led his team in scoring and assists per game, averaging 17.5 and three respectively, while shooting an effective 36.5 percent from three according to eurobasket.com. This was enough to earn the man from Jamesville-Dewitt a spot on the New York Knicks' summer league team. Unfortunately he did not see much playing time, but he did sign a one year deal with Virtus Roma, another Italian professional team that competes in Serie A.
Fellow former Syracuse high school and college hooper Andy Rautins also finds himself on a Serie A roster. He signed a deal with Varese this past summer. They finished 10th in the league standings last season, slightly worse than Virtus Roma's sixth place finish. Rautins played last season on the Skyliners Frankfurt of the German league Basketball Bundesliga, leading the team in scoring and assists as well with 17.6 and 3.6 per game respectively according to RealGM.
Kris Joseph has found himself playing in France these days. The Canadian-born forward is about to play the upcoming season for JDA Dijon of the country's ProA league. He played last year with another French team, Elan Chalone, and averaged 13.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game according to the LNB website. Former teammate and basketball journeyman Darryl Watkins will also be in the same league this year, playing for Charlon Reims. He put up solid numbers in 2013-14 with Spirou Charleroi of the Belgian League, averaging 11.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game according to eurocupbasketball.com.
Lefty big man Rick Jackson is currently playing in Israel. He plays for Hapoel Gilboa Galil of the Israeli Super League after some stints in the D-League. In 2013-14, he averaged 12.7 points and a team high 5.6 rebounds per game.
Two other players who are currently playing with teams in the far east are forwards Paul Harris and Demetris Nichols. Harris recently joined Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters of the Philippine Basketball Association. In ten games in 2o14, Harris is leading the team in scoring and rebounding, putting up a double-double with 27.7 points and 12.6 rebounds per game according to asiabasket.com. Nichols is with CSKA Moscow of the VTB United League, Russia's top league. He signed with the team in August of 2014.
Josh Pace, the crafty lefty that was a part of the Syracuse national championship team, is continuing his run in New Zealand with the Nelson Giants. He led the NBL in scoring in 2013 with 22.9 points per game and was named player of the week twice. According to FoxSportingPulse.com, Pace is averaging 22.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game on 58 percent shooting in 2014 so far and was named player of the week once.
In more unfortunate news, Pace's former New Zealand teammate and former 'Cuse stud Eric Devendorf's roller coaster professional career continues. After it was reported he would sign with Proger BLS Chieti of the A2 Silver League in Italy, the team opted to not ink him to a deal after medical tests revealed he was not fully healed from his most previous injury. According to Syracuse.com, Devendorf had back surgery in June and told their Mike Waters around a month ago that he felt healthy and ready to play. It turns out this was not the case, and Devendorf will have to continue to look for somewhere to play.
It is good to see that so many former Syracuse players are having success in other leagues around the world. A successful program finds ways to leave its mark in many locations. Keep checking with NunesMagician.com for more updates on these players.