Former Fizz is a new interview series where we talk with previous Orange Fizz staff writers about Syracuse sports from when they were on campus. Topics include specific players and games, special memories and of course Jim Boeheim throughout the years. You can listen to all of the episodes on the Orange Fizz SoundCloud or orangefizz.net.
On the second episode, Kevin Fitzgerald is the special guest. Kevin is currently a play-by-play broadcaster for ESPN and was a student at Syracuse University from 2010-2014. He remembers the shift from the Big East to the ACC, as well as the change from Doug Marrone to Scott Shafer. The interview is below, followed by an abbreviated Q&A from the discussion. We hope you enjoy!
QUESTION: What was it like going from the Big East to the ACC?
ANSWER: That story dominated the Syracuse media for months and it was in the middle of a lot of conference realignment. Some people questioned if the ACC was the best conference for Syracuse in terms of basketball, but it has proven to be a great decision based on competition levels.
QUESTION: What was it like when Syracuse basketball rattled off 20 straight wins and had such sustained success in 2011-12?
ANSWER: That 2011-12 team was probably the best Syracuse team in that era. From ‘09 to ‘16 was probably the winningest era for Syracuse basketball.
QUESTION: What team did you feel most confident would make the deepest run in March Madness when you were a student?
ANSWER: The 2011-12 team. It felt like a loaded roster that was 10-deep. They had a really difficult path to make it to the championship.
QUESTION: What was your favorite memory of Syracuse basketball while you were on the hill?
ANSWER: The final Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden.
QUESTION: If you could put together a starting five of Syracuse basketball players that played while you were a student, who would be in it?
ANSWER: Tyler Ennis, Brandon Triche, CJ Fair, Kris Joseph, Rick Jackson (Bench: Dion Waiters, Scoop Jardine, Fab Melo)
QUESTION: What was public opinion like when Syracuse football went from Doug Marrone to Scott Shafer?
ANSWER: I think it was positive because he was there for a number of years as the defensive coordinator and did a great job in that position.
QUESTION: Who were some of the football players that stood out while you were on campus?
ANSWER: Ryan Nassib because he was the star quarterback that started for three years and set records his senior year. Other notable players were Shamarko Thomas, Jerome Smith, Prince Tyson Gulley, and Alec Lemon.
QUESTION: What was the most memorable Syracuse football game you watched while on campus?
ANSWER: Texas Bowl 2013 – Syracuse defeats Minnesota 21-17