As the 2018 edition of The Basketball Tournament begins this week, we thought it was a fine time to start previewing Boeheim’s Army and their chances at the $2 million grand prize. While there will definitely be more in depth breakdowns coming, let’s take an eagle eyed view to the most important question: Can this Syracuse Orange Alumni squad win it all?
Every year, Oversees Elite ends up walking away with the grand prize thanks to some serious offensive skill honed in Europe. They can all shoot the ball from anywhere on the floor and know they can outscore anyone, so defense comes down to limiting anything especially dangerous. Boeheim’s Army got a firsthand look as they hung with the champs in the semifinal, only to lose after never really recovering from a 13-0 run in the first half.
This brings us back to the boys in Orange. Last year, Eric Devendorf and James Southerland carried a lot of the offense. Devendorf’s resurgence as a top player in a field filled with legitimate quality has been a revelation, but everyone and their Hoya fans looking for a new team know that secondary scoring will be key.
Enter a heckuva supporting cast. John Gillon and Brandon Triche were each streaky, but above average guards alongside Devendorf. Gillon in particular had great moments in last year’s run. But it’s an upgraded front court that looks primed to take BA over the edge. This year’s team can fill out a top five lineup of Gillon/Trice, Devendorf & Southerland with two of Kris Joseph, Paul Harris, Demetris Nichols, and Hakim Warrick.
Holy Food Lion.
Nichols has been one of the top Syracuse alums in Europe. Warrick was one of the most productive ‘Cuse NBA alumni and was still tearing it up in Israel. Harris and Joseph are probably the two more athletic forwards, with Joseph bringing some shooting to the front court. And what’s most important? There’s enough depth here that Coach Ryan Blackwell can keep everyone fresh and play specific matchups, something he did very well in last year’s run.
All in all, this is by far the most athletic team Boeheim’s Army has ever had. It’s by far the best shooting team Boeheim’s Army has ever had. And all of that is added to the team that just came off the best finish for Boeheim’s Army yet in this event. The ingredients for a big finish this time around are definitely there. Now let’s see if Boeheim’s Army can find a way back to TBT’s Final Four. That quest starts this Saturday in Brooklyn.