Marius Janulis came to Syracuse in 1994 by way of Lithuania, but not before playing his senior year of high school basketball in Prattsburgh, New York. Janulis would average 21 points per game in his senior year of high school while leading the team to a 25-1 record. He was a tall guard who was capable of playing both the two guard and forward positions for Jim Boeheim's Syracuse Orange team.
Janulis played sparingly in his freshman campaign and only put up 2.8 points per game in limited action. Mike Hopkins would return to Syracuse as an assistant following the Lithuanian's freshman year and was instrumental towards improving Janulis' mental toughness. Hopkins gave him the confidence needed to excel on the court.
During his sophomore year, Janulis would be granted more responsibility by playing in all but one of Syracuse's games on its way to the Final Four. Janulis and Syracuse came up one game short of a National Championship, falling to a talented Kentucky team. The 6-foot-6 marksman had a great year by shooting 41.6 percent from three-point-range, more than doubling his scoring average from the previous season.
Janulis would continue to improve in his junior season and lead the then Orangemen in three point shooting. However, Syracuse would have a disappointing season in 1996-1997 -- they failed to make the NCAA Tournament after playing in the National Championship game a year before. Jim Boeheim's club fell to Florida State in the first round of the NIT with Todd Burgan limited due to injury.
Janulis and Syracuse would be back with a vengeance in 1997-1998. Janulis came back to Syracuse and continued to round out his game. He improved his passing and rebounding to supplement what had always been his biggest strength, his jump-shot. After draining a career high 74 three-point field goals in a single season, Janulis would leave Syracuse as the school's second all-time leader in three-point field goals at that time.
Janulis made the best play of his career in his final NCAA Tournament. Syracuse squared off against downstate opponent Iona in the first round of the 1998 Tournament. The No. 5 seed Syracuse trailed 61-60 with less than 10 seconds remaining in the game. Burgan collected a loose ball and kicked to Janulis who drained the game-winning three with 1.2 seconds left in the game. Syracuse would eventually advance to the Sweet 16 only to fall to Duke 80-67.
Janulis now sits seventh on Syracuse's all-time three point list. He was a tremendous student at Syracuse, earning a 3.8 GPA while majoring in computer science. He now serves as a Chief Technology Officer for Technium, Inc. in Massachusetts. He's been with the company since Syracuse won the National Championship in 2003.
Janulis comes from a country with rich basketball tradition -- Lithuania has a long history of successful basketball players. Some Lithuanians who have experienced success in the United States include Linas Kleiza, Jonas Valanciunas, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and both Arvydas and Domantas Sabonis.