It’s been a while since we last checked in on former Syracuse Orange men’s basketball plays in the NBA, so with the college basketball offseason in full effect and Oshae Brissett stepping into a starting role with the Indiana Pacers, now feels like as good of a time as any.
The Orange alumni in the league have had a strong showing this season, with five erstwhile players on NBA rosters. Four of those players are in significant roles, while the other is playing for a title contender.
Here’s how the former SU guys are doing in the NBA.
The Indiana Pacers brought Brissett up from the G-League at the beginning of this month and proceeded to sign him to a pair of 10-day contracts. The former Orange forward has only produced since. After his first career NBA start, Brissett inked a three-year deal with the Pacers. He’s scored double-figures in five straight games and has recorded a double-double in three of those contests. In Tuesday night’s game against Portland, Brissett scored 18 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked a career-high five shots in 40 minutes.
Brissett has played time at center and stretched it with an improved outside shot since his time at Syracuse. One thing that has remained, however, is logging heavy minutes.
The Pacers currently sit at ninth in the Eastern Conference standings and will look to make a push toward the playoffs (currently one game back form eighth). Brissett recently appeared on ESPN Radio Syracuse with Brent Axe to talk about his success.
Hughes has played sparingly in his rookie season for Utah Jazz, who figure to contend for a an NBA title. Hughes has appeared in 13 games in his first year, three of which were within the last month. He hit a three against Portland on April 8 and grabbed a rebound in just one minute of action.
Playing time figures to be few and far between for Hughes the rest of the way as the Jazz sit atop the Western Conference Standings and hope to make a deep push in the NBA Playoffs.
An ankle injury has kept Michael Carter-Williams sidelined for the past two weeks, but the former Syracuse point guard continues to have some success with the beleaguered Magic. In a starting role, MCW has averaged 8.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game this season. In his most recent game against the Chicago Bulls, he scored 15 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and had 3 assists.
The Magic have the second-worst record in the NBA and sit 15th in the Eastern Conference standings.
MCW recently hopped on Eric Devendorf’s podcast to talk about his journeyman career in the NBA and some of the keys to his longevity, so give that a listen if you haven’t already.
Jerami Grant continues to have a stellar season with the Detroit Pistons. He’s enjoyed a career-best in points (22.5 per game) and assists (2.8). Grant has started all 53 games in his first season with the Pistons. He’s scored in double-figures in 49 out of those 53 games. He leads his team in minutes, points and blocks.
Detroit is just a half game in front of the Magic, dodging the worst record in the East.
Carmelo Anthony continues his storied NBA career with the Portland Trail Blazers, averaging 13.5 points and 3.2 rebounds per game off the bench. Melo has scored in double-figures in his last eight games. He’s scored 20 or more 14 times this season.
Portland has lost five of its last six games, holding on to seventh place in the West.
Carmelo has also recently announced the release of his memoir, titled Where Tomorrows Aren’t Promised, chronicling his early life in Brookyln and West Baltimore. The book is expected to be available in September.