There have already been plenty of talented athletes on the Fizz’s SU Top 100 list, but there hasn’t been one like the guy that comes in at No. 57. I’ll give you some hints as to who it might be:
- He was a five-star recruit.
- He never started a game for Syracuse.
- His college nickname was “Kobe Wade” but now he goes by “Philly Cheese.”
Do you know it yet? Well if you don’t, take a look at the title of this article. Yes, of course he is going to make our list. So, without further adieu, coming in at No. 57 is Mr. Dion Waiters.
Waiters is hands down the best sixth man Syracuse Men’s Basketball has ever had. He played in 71 games over the course of two seasons, but never started one of them, despite being one of the best recruits in his class. Even though he didn’t start, he still averaged 20 minutes, ten points, two rebounds, two assists, and two steals per game.
Waiters was also a crucial part to an Orange team who went 27-8 and was a three-seed his freshman year, and an even more crucial part to an SU squad who were Big East Regular Season Champs and made it to the Elite Eight his sophomore year. During that sophomore campaign, Waiters earned All-Big East honors and was named the Big East Sixth Man of the Year.
The interesting part of Waiters’ time at Syracuse was how accepting he was of coming off the bench. Sure, he probably wasn’t thrilled, but he played his role well. He was Syracuse’s best recruit in his class and ranked much higher than Brandon Triche and Scoop Jardine who started in front of him. Waiters easily could have become a hot-head and demanded that he got into the starting lineup, but he didn’t. He waited his turn during his freshman season, then accepted the bench role again the next year. Waiters even lost 15 pounds over the off season and greatly improved his jumper, yet he still didn’t complain. He was a team player through and through.
Waiters went on to be drafted fourth overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2012 and has since played for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers, where he currently is.
Dion Waiters: best sixth man in program history, period.