The 2020 Boeheim‚Äôs Army roster is set with three weeks until The Basketball Tournament tips-off. Many fans think this is the best roster General Manager Kevin Belbey has ever produced in his six seasons as the team‚Äôs architect. The SU alumni team includes four former NBA first round picks, and six players with NBA experience. Belbey placed an increased emphasis on versatility and shooting this year. Here‚Äôs a full breakdown of the roster.
Andrew White (2016-2017)
Andrew White is the newest addition to the Boeheim‚Äôs Army roster. Sure, White spent just one season at Syracuse as a grad-transfer, but that one season was historic. In 2017, White reset the Syracuse single-season record with 112 made 3-pointers in a single season. The previous record belonged to Gerry McNamara with 107. White earned All-ACC third team honors. Therefore, it does not matter that he spent two seasons at Kansas and one with Nebraska. White will always be Orange.
This season was White‚Äôs third in the G-League. Despite going undrafted in 2017, he logged time in the NBA. White spent 15 games with the Atlanta Hawks in 2018.
White shined for Boeheim‚Äôs Army last season, and should provide shot-making ability in iso-situations on top of strong perimeter shooting.¬†
John Gillon (2016-2017)
Gillon took a similar path to Andrew White, and played with him during just one graduate season at Syracuse after making stops at Arkansas Little Rock and Colorado State. He is best remembered for hitting a buzzer-beating bank shot against Duke, sending the Dome into a frenzy. Since then, Gillon has felt like a part of the Orange family, more so than the other schools he played for.
The 26-year-old spent two seasons in the G-League and one in Lithuania since leaving SU.
Gillon played for Boeheim‚Äôs Army in each of the past two seasons. Just as he has in the past, expect Gillon to move the ball well. He can shoot too, but his value will primarily be in facilitating.¬†¬†
Malachi Richardson (2015-2016)
Richardson might be the first player Syracuse fans think of when they hear the phrase ‚Äúhe left too early‚Äù. It‚Äôs true, he did, but it‚Äôs hard to blame him. His one season at Syracuse earned him ACC All-Freshman honors. When the lights were brightest, Richardson was at his best. He led Syracuse‚Äôs 14-point second half comeback against Virginia with 23 points in the Elite 8. The Orange would not have reached the Final Four in 2016 without him.¬†
A standout rookie year and a historic tournament run earned him a first round selection in the 2016 NBA Draft. Richardson was selected 22nd overall by the Charlotte Hornets, but spent his three-year NBA career with the Kings and Raptors. He played in Israel and Italy during the past two seasons.¬†
This is Richardson‚Äôs first season with Boeheim‚Äôs Army. He is set to be one of the best pure shooters in the entire TBT.
Chris McCullough (2014-2015)
McCullough spent just one season with the Orange, and missed about half of it with a torn ACL. He came to the Hill with unprecedented expectations as one of Jim Boeheim‚Äôs highest rated recruits.
Despite the injury, McCullough was drafted 29th overall by the Brooklyn Nets in 2015. His NBA career never truly took off, playing parts of three seasons with the Nets and Wizards. Last season, McCullough skipped TBT to play for the San Miguel Beermen in the Philippines. He carried them to a championship, piling up 35 points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots in the series-clinching victory.¬†
Belbey says McCullough was the most crucial commit to Boeheim‚Äôs Army this summer.
‚Äú[Chris McCullough] is talented enough to be an NBA starter,‚Äù Belbey said. ‚ÄúHe can do almost anything on the basketball court. He can dribble, shoot, pass, rebound, defend inside, defend perimeter players. He‚Äôs just the model of the way basketball is trending towards. I would be comfortable with him bringing the ball up‚Ä¶. He could be the most talented player in the tournament.‚Äù
On top of versatility and raw talent, McCullough will have a fresh sense of the 2-3 Zone, much like the other young players on the squad.
Donte Greene (2007-2008)
Greene is another one-and-done five-star. He shined in his one season at Syracuse though, averaging 18 points, seven rebounds and two assists. He became the first Syracuse freshman since Carmelo Anthony to lead the Orange in scoring, while setting a new SU freshmen record for 3-pointers in one season, notching 90. Gerry McNamara previously held the record with 85. It was no surprise when he earned Big East All-Rookie honors, alongside Jonny Flynn.
Greene was taken by the Memphis Grizzlies 28th overall in 2008, but spent his entire four year career with the Sacramento Kings. From there, he played in China, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, the Dominican Republic and Lebanon.
The 6‚Äô11‚Äù forward played one game for Boeheim‚Äôs Army in 2016, and the full tournament in 2017. Greene should allow the Orange to stretch the floor more, thanks to his strong perimeter shooting. Greene shot 34% from range in his one season in Orange. But at nearly 230 pounds, expect him to crash the boards too.¬†
Eric Devendorf (2005-2009)¬†
Enough with these one-year alums. Eric Devendorf truly, indisputably bleeds Orange. He spent four seasons at Syracuse, and two more as a strength coach. Devendorf is the only retired player on the roster, but the 33-year-old is the team‚Äôs motor, just as he was on the Hill. As last year‚Äôs captain, Devendorf led Boeheim‚Äôs Army with 15 points per game while also averaging three rebounds, four assists and two steals. It‚Äôs no coincidence that he was Kevin Belbey‚Äôs first phone call in building this year‚Äôs roster.
Devendorf bounced around in his professional career. He spent time in the D-League, Turkey, New Zealand, the Ukraine, Israel, Greece, Venezuela and Taiwan.¬†
Demetris Nichols (2003-2007)
Nichols and Devendorf overlapped for two seasons at Syracuse, and it shows in the TBT. The two veterans are the leaders on and off the court. The 35-year-old led Boeheim‚Äôs Army in scoring in each of his first two summers.
‚ÄúHe‚Äôs so mature. He‚Äôs so professional. He has this quiet confidence about him. He does whatever it takes to win,‚Äù Belbey said. ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs slapping his hands on the floor on defense. On offense he can make a shot from anywhere. He forces others to elevate their game.‚Äù
Belbey says the team missed Nichols last summer, as he was nursing an injury.
Nichols is still playing professional basketball. He spent time with the Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks after being selected in the second round of the 2007 NBA Draft. Since then, Nichols has played in the D-League, France, the Dominican Republic, Russia, Greece, Croatia and Italy. He is hoping this summer will help him bounce back from his injury.¬†
Tyler Lydon (2015-2017)
Lydon spent two seasons at Syracuse, and helped lead the Orange to the Final Four in 2016. He averaged 12 points, seven rebounds and two assists, but his signature skill set on the Hill was his perimeter shooting. The forward shot 40% from deep.
Knockdown shooting ability and a 6‚Äô10‚Äù frame demanded NBA attention. Lydon was drafted by the Utah Jazz with the 24th overall pick, but spent parts of two seasons with the Denver Nuggets. An already stacked frontcourt in Denver and injuries did not allow Lydon much playing time. He played in the G-League through the 2018-2019 season, and sat last season out waiting for his next opportunity.¬†
Lydon has the ability to play in the middle or on the wing of the zone. Much like Greene, he gives Boeheim‚Äôs Army size on the perimeter that most teams will not be able to match. Lydon is making his TBT debut, and should be a great young piece (24) for Boeheim‚Äôs Army.¬†
Brandon Triche (2009-2013)
Triche returns to Boeheim‚Äôs Army after an injury kept him out of the TBT last season. The Jamesville, NY native played for the alumni squad for three summers (2016-2018). He was born in Syracuse, spent four years on the Hill and comes from an Orange family (his father, uncle and cousin all received four varsity letters from SU).
As a junior, Triche helped carry the Orange to the Elite 8. In his senior season, Triche took SU to the Final Four. Since playing for Boeheim, Triche made stops in the D-League, Italy, Greece, Israel and Turkey.
He is a well-rounded guard, who largely made his living at Syracuse with a quick first step to the basket. Even after last year‚Äôs injury, the 29-year-old should still be able to get to the hoop for Ryan Blackwell and Boeheim‚Äôs Army. If nothing else, he will be a spark plug off the bench.