The sanctions on Syracuse’s men’s basketball team were handed down over four months ago, which means we can now have at least a small sense of humor about them.
In honor of last night’s MLB All-Star Game, I decided to put together a team of my own. The Syracuse All-Sanctions Team: a collection of the best Syracuse players who played in games which – in the eyes of the NCAA – never happened.
As part of the sanctions given to Syracuse in March, the team lost 108 wins spanning over the 2004-07 and 2010-12 seasons. To be eligible for the All Sanctions Team, a player must have played in at least one of those games. The lineup is determined by a combination of how much of the player’s career was played during the tainted seasons, and what the player did for Syracuse during that time. So we now present the Syracuse All-Sanctions Team!
Gerry McNamara, G, wins vacated from Junior and Senior years
McNamara’s final two years with the Orange were ones to remember. In the 04-05 season, he averaged 15.8 PPG in a season highlighted by a Big East tournament win. McNamara was named to the First Team All-Big East and the team finished 27-7. In 05-06, McNamara averaged 16 PPG and led the Orange to another Big East title after finishing below .500 against the conference in the regular season. McNamara was the tournament’s MVP. Syracuse finished 23-12 and, according to Jim Boeheim, wouldn’t have won 10 games without McNamara (I’m paraphrasing, of course).
Eric Devendorf, G, wins vacated from Freshman and Sophomore years
Devendorf burst onto the scene in his first two years with the Orange. The McDonald’s All-American impressed in his freshman season, averaging 12.2 PPG after earning a starting spot early in the season. He finished the year a member of the Big East All-Freshman team. Devendorf saw his role on the team grow after the departure of McNamara. In 06-07 he averaged 14.8 PPG game to go along with 4.1 assists. Syracuse missed the NCAA Tournament, but Devendorf was an All-Big East Honorable Mention.
Kris Joseph, F, wins vacated from Junior and Senior years
Joseph led the Orange in scoring during both the 10-11 and 11-12 seasons. After being put on the Wooden Award Watch List prior to the season, he averaged 14.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in his junior year. Syracuse ended up losing in the third round of the NCAA’s to Marquette, but Joseph was named Third Team All-Big East. Joseph averaged only 13.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in his senior year but led the Orange to bigger and better things. Syracuse made it to the Elite 8 while Joseph was a Wooden Award finalist and First Team All-Big East.
Demetris Nichols, F, wins vacated from Sophomore, Junior, and Senior year
Nichols didn’t do much in his sophomore year but went from 3.9 PPG to 13.3 in his junior season while grabbing 5.8 rebounds per game. He averaged 13 points and 4.8 rebounds in Syracuse’s Big East tournament run. In his senior season of 06-07, Nichols was a unanimous selection to the First Team All-Big East. He pulled in 5.4 RPG and led the conference in scoring with 18.9 PPG. Nichols was drafted by the Trail Blazers in the second round of the 2007 NBA Draft.
Hakim Warrick, F, wins vacated from Senior year
Warrick only had wins from one season taken away from him by the NCAA, but it was a good one. He averaged 21.4 PPG and 8.6 RPG on his way to Big East Player of the Year honors. Warrick shined in the Big East Tournament, averaging 22.5 points and 12 rebounds. Warrick was a consensus First Team All-American, but Syracuse lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to 13th seeded Vermont.
Who do you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter @OrangeFizz to keep up all of the Syracuse basketball and football news.
Posted: Nathan Dickinson