It‚Äôs that time of year again, The Basketball Tournament is underway, the Syracuse alumni play today at 4:00 P.M. This year, like every other, Boeheim‚Äôs Army, a band of SU basketball alums will battle it out with 23 other teams for basketball glory. These are some players on this year‚Äôs roster that might surprise you.
Donte Greene: The big man out of Germany donned Orange threads for just one season, in which he put up great numbers: 18 PPG, 7 RPG, and nearly 2 BPG in the 07-08 season. From there the 6‚Äô11‚Äô‚Äô big declared for the NBA in which he was selected with the 28th pick by the Grizzlies. The now 32-year-old be a huge asset for Boeheim‚Äôs Army, last year a big issue of theirs was presence down low. Other teams easily beat the SU rooted squad in the paint, now with Greene on the roster things will likely change. His ability to defend the rim, paired with his skills grabbing boards and creating second-chance opportunities will be incredibly beneficial to the offense that is mostly centered around shooters like Andrew White III and Eric Devendorf..
Malachi Richardson: Another guy that participated in just one season for the Orange, Richardson was a key part of the 2015-16 team that made a Cinderella-like run deep into the NCAA tournament. Though they eventually fell to UNC in the Final Four, that squad led by Richardson and Michael Gbinije is remembered for never giving up and winning despite the odds. Richardson‚Äôs play that year was key to their string of tournament victories. 13 PPG, shooting over 35% from distance, Richardson was crucial to the offense that surprised other teams come tourney time. After his year in Orange, the 6‚Äô6‚Äô‚Äô forward declared for the draft. He was selected 22nd overall by the Hornets. The kid from New Jersey played in the NBA from 2016-2019, now he shows off his skills in the Italian LegaBasket Serie A for Vanoli Cremona. Boeheim‚Äôs Army has no lack of shooting, but more talent never hurts. Richardson’s style of play will fit nicely into this squad, providing another option for the team‚Äôs slashers to pass to for a clean shot.
Demetris Nichols: Another big, this time a guy who stayed all four years, Demetris Nichols out of Rhode Island was a force for the Orange by the time he left. In his Senior year, 6‚Äô8‚Äô‚Äô forward scored 19 PPG, grabbed 5 RPG, and played solid defense in the patented 2-3 zone. In that year he was named to the All-Big East team, earning respect as a top player. He was selected in the second round by the Trail Blazers. The now 35-year-old big still has a few tricks up his sleeve and will be incredibly valuable to a squad that needs more talent around the rim. Teamed up with Greene, Nichols should be able to tap into that vintage form.
Make sure you catch the first game of Boeheim‚Äôs Army today at 4 EST on ESPN. The Orange Alumni Squad takes on Men Of Mackey, the Purdue alumni team.