Last night, Michael Carter-Williams was drafted 11th overall by the 76ers. And that’s good for business in Orange Land. While many of us may have our doubts about what type of pro he may end up being (poor shooting, lack of offensive polish, streaky), every Syracuse fan should applaud that MCW was taken where he was taken. Because the Orange is on a roll.
Look at this list:
’13: MCW, 11th to Philadelphia.
’12: Dion Waiters, 4th overall to Cleveland.
’12: Fab Melo, 22nd to Boston.
’10: Wes Johnson, 4th to Minnesota.
’09: Jonny Flynn, 6th to Minnesota.
’08: Donte Green, 28th to Memphis.
’05: Hakim Warrick, 19th to Memphis.
’03: Carmelo Anothony, 3rd to Denver.
Since Melo won the championship Syracuse has had 8 first-round draft picks in 10 years, five in the lottery. That’s a tremendous sum for any program not named Kentucky.
As we’ve noted before, everything changed with Melo. And the effect is still being felt. But the Orange has become a destination to find your way to the NBA. It’s not the ideal reason you’d want recruits coming to a college basketball program. But it’s the way business is being done in the modern college basketball world.
Walking into high school gyms and AAU coaches offices across the country is a whole lot easier when you have the trump card: We can help your player get to the league.
Syracuse can say that. Now, the track record for these picks is dismal outside of Melo. It’s certainly possible MCW could join that list. But future players at SU don’t care about how the old Orange players fared in the pros. They only care that they made the pros, and were selected high, therefore ensuring a bigger paycheck and more playing time.
SU’s basketball recruiting is humming. Look at the incoming class, and all the 5-star players who consider the Orange alongside the Kentucky’s, UNC’s, and Kansas’ of the world. Plenty of that has to do with the Orange track record of sending guys to the league, and getting them drafted in the lottery.
All the best, MCW. You’re gone from the Hill, but still helping the cause