Letter Grades for the Basketball Players Who Have Made Syracuse 22-0

Our letter grades for the guys who have made basketball history.

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via Syracuse.com

Now that Syracuse is 22-0 and at the top of the nation’s rankings, it’s a legitimate time to really consider if this team is worthy of a national championship. 

Syracuse has played five ranked opponents: Baylor, Villanova, UNC, Pittsburgh and Duke. Although some of these games were close, it shows how much of a second-half team the Orange is. Some players have stepped up, while others have not. Here are individual grades for the guys who are making it happen:
Jim Boeheim: A. Boeheim has led this team to its best start in school history and the top team in the nation. He had faith in Tyler Ennis to be his starting point guard and has helped him become the leader of this team. Right now, Boeheim is just doing his thing and he has the best tools to get the job done.
Tyler Ennis: A. Ennis is likely the best point guard and one of the top freshmen in the country. He is the biggest tool for the Orange and Syracuse would not be 23-0 and No. 1 without him. Sometimes he doesn’t put up the high scoring numbers, but he never hurts the team.
Trevor Cooney: B+. He has slipped a little bit in ACC play, becoming somewhat inconsistent. He dominated non-conference play, setting career highs in points, but the game against Notre Dame on Monday shows his potential. He set a career high in points and also had nine three’s to tie the school record. He’s still Syracuse’s number one three-point guy and he and Ennis build what is likely the best backcourt in the ACC.
CJ Fair: B+. This may be a little tough for Fair. He could even be an A-. He still does his thing, even with Ennis and Cooney arriving on the scene. He’s the senior leader and hasn’t been a selfish player. He knows that all he wants to do is win and he is willing to dish the ball to the players that give Syracuse the best chance to win.
Jerami Grant: B+. He’s probably NBA bound. He has done nothing but a solid job filling in for DaJuan Coleman and he’s played better than Coleman. He can hit the mid-range shot when he needs to, and he can drive to the basket and provide the Orange with some much needed-energy at times.
Rakeem Christmas: C+. Orange Nation knows not to expect any offensive production from him. He has played solid defense in his junior year, and he has also shown to be more aggressive with players who attack the basket. He’s not the best player in the conference but with the rest of the offensive explosion, much isn’t needed from Christmas.
BJ Johnson: C. He’s been coming off the bench and is a freshman,. He will be a solid player for Syracuse in the future.
Ron Patterson: N/A. He hasn’t played much since non-conference play. At times he looked to be a solid player off the bench.
Tyler Roberson: B. He comes in and gives Boeheim some needed minutes to give his starters some rest.
Baye Keita: B-. He’s a fan favorite, and people like him because he gives Syracuse minutes. When Christmas gets into foul trouble, Keita is the man off the bench. He provides the energy Syracuse needs, but doesn’t bring much offensive skill. He has done a solid job off the glass.
Michael Gbinije: C+. Ennis can play 40 minutes. Therefore, Gbinije doesn’t get much attention or time to show off his skills. This is his first season after sitting out after the Duke transfer, so he’s probably still a little dry.
How do you rank them?
Posted by: Austin Pollack

10 Comments on this Post

  1. I agree with every grade except Gbinije. In my own non-professional fan opinion he makes terrible decisions, doesn’t fit with their style of play and turns the ball over too much. Should have left him at Duke. Maybe that will change in the future but my grade is less than C+

  2. How can you grade BJ Johnson a C and give Ron Patterson a N/A? Ron has played more minutes and has contributed waaay more than BJ. He also has better ppg average. “Lucy, you have some ‘splaining to do!”

  3. Also agree with Hutch about Mike G. Turnovers and bad decisions along with his hesitation to score concern me.

  4. @Austin;

    I don’t want to look like I’m complaining about the #1 team in America but come-on man,I beg to differ with you on a couple of things here.

    a)Jim Boeheim: A.–Tyler Ennis got to start at point,because he’s the only point guard on the team. Boeheim had to start him out of necessity. Don’t get me wrong here,I’m glad that Tyler is on our team.

    b)I would give Trevor Cooney and CJ Fair a higher grade than a B+. Every player in america has an off game everyonce in awhile.

    c)I believe that your way off on Rakeem Christmas. His play is exactly what you want out of a center. Defense and rebounding. If he’d score more than 6-8 points per game it would be amazing. I would give him at least a B+ maybe higher.

    d)Ron Patterson,every time I watch Ron play he reminds me of the “energizer bunny” the one that never quits. He’s got so much energy,going full speed ahead and covers the floor like no one else on the team. I would give him a B+ based on his hustle alone and his scoring isn’t bad either.

    all of the above are just my opinion’s and see things a little differently than most.

  5. Jeremi will be offered lots of cash to go pro but its based on future production. Jermi at this has no offense worthy of NBA playing time. Another year makes him a lottery pick with a huge contract worthy of his ability. In addition he might be the leader of the NC team. The other bi benefit would be Tyler if he returns as he should. Now Tyler should be a rst team AA and FOY. Of course thats presuming they don’t win it all this year which in that case all bets are off.

  6. I totally agree with Ron.

    Christmas has been a monster defensively. He does all the dirty work and you still show him no love. He gets no lower than a B.

    Also Ennis gets an A+.

  7. @Austin;

    When you compare a player like Jerami Grant to a player like DaJuan Coleman,to me your comparing apples to oranges.

    Jerami is a small forward or possibly a swing player that can also play the 2 position. He’s expected to make those plays where as Dajuan is a true center and isn’t as mobile as a small forward playing the center position. A true center is expected to defend the lane,blocking shots and getting offensive and defensive rebounds. If a center gets an offensive rebound and puts it up and in is where he will do most of his scoring. It is not excpected to post up at the top of the key and shoot jump shots. That’s not what a center does.

    I hope/pray that Jerami Grant and Tyler Ennis stays for one maybe two more years before going to the NBA.

  8. I agree with the above grades. However, I also think it would be wise for Ennis & Grant to stay one more year. The NBA $$$$ is tempting, but IMO it is in their long term interest to stay at least one more year with the Cuse.

  9. Juan Coleman didn’t get the F he deserves Sure you can point to his leg problem but that also goes to his lack of weight loss in the off season so F it must be.At this time DC must be on the list of most disappointing big time recruits ever brought in by Boeheim. A wasted scholarship that could have gone to a contributor rather than than this guy. Does anyone think he will transform himself into a viable player for the Orange after this year? Really? If I’m mistaken I’ll admit it but that isn’t going to be necessary.

  10. Cuse Don't Luse

    My grades

    Boeheim: A+ he has his best record ever and outcaoched coach K for an OT victory by giving the ball to grant in OT

    Ennis: A/A+ He is the best point guard in the nation

    Cooney: B+ in conference play, A at star of the year, A- overall because when he shoots well we can’t be stopped

    Fair: B+ He is our leading scorer but he is good for a couple of bad plays a game where he misses a catch or something stupid and he hasn’t been as dominant as expected but still very very good and the unsung leader and reason why this team is unbeaten

    Grant: A- Forget Ron Patterson, this is our energizer bunny he makes a big play or big dunk every week but at the same time he forces his offense too much. When he is given long 2’s he needs to pass those up and at the start of the game vs. Duke he was like 1-6 with 4 turnovers because he was forcing the issue.

    Christmas: A- He does everything we need him to: rebounds well, doesn’t foul, is a good shot blocker, a capable free-throw shooter, and has proven that he has a very good post game that is good for 2 or 3 baskets a game to keep the defense honest without taking too many of the possessions for himself. He is very good and our least appreciated player because he isn’t a huge part of the offense, yet he is very offensively capable.

    Keita: D He is an offensive liability who underproduces from the free throw line (20% worse than Christmas) and has an unpolished post game (13% worse than Christmas on fg’s) he is a good shot blocker and slightly taller than Christmas but he is a defensive player that makes our offense one dimensional

    Gbinije C He still plays relatively nervous, by tournament time I see him being more of an impact and scorer, otherwise this team is screwed when Ennis/Cooney get in foul trouble

    Roberson, Patterson, Johnson:N/A
    Roberson plays the most and will have to fill in next year on a wing but Johnson is a very good shooter who similar to Cooney (despite coneys redshirt) has struggle to shoot in games in his first year of playing college basketball compared to what has been said about them in practice, and he can play wing or guard like a gbinije, and patterson reminds me of Paul Harris but more guard oriented in a sense that patterson is a better shooter, however none of them are impactful enough for a true grade.

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