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 this episode, Drew Carter comes on as the special guest. Drew is a reporter and anchor at CBS 42 in Birmingham, Alabama. He gives us a look at SU sports from 2015-2019. He remembers watching Syracuse basketball make the Final Four his freshman year and witnessing Syracuse football win a bowl game his senior year. The interview is below, followed by an abbreviated Q&A from the discussion. We hope you enjoy!
QUESTION: What sport did you enjoy most when you were on campus between basketball and football?
ANSWER: I would have to say I have better memories of the basketball team, but football during my senior year was such a highlight of my college years.
QUESTION: What was the best basketball game you witnessed as a student?
ANSWER: It has to be when Syracuse beat Duke at Cameron Indoor in January of 2019. I remember when Elijah Hughes curved a three-quarters court around the scoreboard and nailed it at the halftime buzzer.
QUESTION: Of the four teams Syracuse basketball put together during your college years, which do you think had the most talented roster?
ANSWER: Ironically, I think it was 2016-2017, which was the only year that didn‚Äôt make it to the tournament when I was there. They were pretty good offensively, but not great at defense. The team that made it to the Final Four in 2015-2016 was also really good.
QUESTION: What were your thoughts when Mike Hopkins left Syracuse?
ANSWER: I couldn‚Äôt blame the guy because he spent 15 years as the coach-in-waiting, but Jim Boeheim is a Syracuse lifer. Hopkins had a great opportunity given to him, so you can‚Äôt blame him. He would have been a great fit for Syracuse and he is such a good guy, so it would have been great to have him at SU.
QUESTION: Do you have any classic Jim Boeheim stories?
ANSWER: I never had any negative instances with him, but during my senior year I got to interview him for CitrusTV and he was such a great guy. Our camera wasn‚Äôt recording for the first couple minutes too, and he didn‚Äôt mind restarting.
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: Michael Gbinije, Trevor Cooney, Tyus Battle, Malachi Richardson, Elijah Hughes
QUESTION: Who were some of the standout football players you remember from when you were a student?
ANSWER: Amba Etta-Tawo put together the best offensive season and Andre Cisco had the best defensive season I saw. The main guy for me though is Eric Dungey, He started all four years I was there, which is pretty special.
QUESTION: What was your opinion of Dino Babers when he was hired by Syracuse?
ANSWER: Well it was like when a girl stops dating a guy in a toxic relationship, the next boyfriend is going to be great no matter what. Scott Shafer was the toxic relationship boyfriend, so Babers only had to come in and not be Scott Shafer. Babers is also such a great guy and had a strong start with his opening press conference.
QUESTION: Were you hesitant to believe in Syracuse football your senior year in 2018 when they were starting to win a lot?
ANSWER: Yes, I was very hesitant because I was remembering the scars from previous years. I probably started to believe when Syracuse beat Florida State. Then every win after that, we gained more confidence.