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Syracuse basketball has quietly built itself into an NBA Draft ‘factory’

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What happens once players are drafted doesn’t REALLY matter that much.

NBA: NBA Draft Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week, we looked at the 10 most recent first-round NBA Draft picks for the Syracuse Orange. While it was awesome to see so many players picked post-Carmelo Anthony, the glaring takeaway was that few of those players have really taken off at the next level.

Lucky for us, Rivals’ Eric Bossi points out the more positive aspect of all of this: Syracuse basketball has still turned itself into an NBA Draft factory -- even if not the type of factory that churns out all-stars each and every year.

Bossi’s rankings look at the last 10 years and count up first round draft picks to determine which schools finish where. Kentucky, Duke, Kansas and North Carolina are your top four (in that order), obviously. But after that, you’ll find UCLA (okay), and then... Syracuse.

According to the article:

“Along with guiding the Orange to a pair of Final Four appearances, Jim Boeheim has kept Syracuse flush with NBA talent. None of the nine first-round picks has turned into an NBA star, but in recruiting it’s all about selling that you get guys picked and they’ve done that. Next week, forward Tyler Lydon has a chance to push the Orange into double digit first-rounders since 2007.”

That second sentence is the biggest takeaway, and the one that should speak the loudest to SU’s recent abilities to churn out NBA players. Boeheim, for better or worse, gets players selected with a very high frequency of late. More than that, he gets them picked in the first round. As Syracuse.com discussed this week, the Orange have the third-longest streak of first-rounders right now.

We’re bullish on Lydon’s chances to continue that streak, and he could even translate that first-round selection into a consistent spot on an NBA roster. There’s reason to believe he will. But also, there are no guarantees depending on fit, his own work ethic, injuries, etc.

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-Syracuse vs Miami Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

That latter part won’t matter, however.

If Lydon’s picked in the first, then you add him to the larger narrative and just hand the growing list of picks over to the top recruits headed your way. You point to Melo, and the Final Fours and maybe Dion Waiters, and hope that sells the program well enough.

This is far from a bad place to be, mind you. Even if sure, we’d love to have some of these first-rounders translate into NBA stardom. Tyler, the floor is yours.