Boeheim’s Army has played in The Basketball Tournament since 2015, the year after its establishment. Not once have the Syracuse-oriented squad took home the gold. Each year, SU fans see familiar faces that they haven’t had the joy of watching for some time. In 2020, Will Rayman became one of the only Non-Syracuse guys to play for the team. Rayman, a Colgate basketball product played for Boeheim’s Army and played quite well. This year, the team took it a bit further, adding guards, Tyrese Rice and Keifer Sykes with two more spots open for non-SU alums.
This is a huge step in the right direction for this team. Time and time again we’ve seen Boeheim’s Army underperform in The Basketball Tournament. With players such as Rice and Sykes, who were studs at their respective schools, that trend has a chance to change direction.
Tyrese Rice was just a 3-star recruit when he committed to play for Boston College. The Richmond, VA native enrolled at BC without many expectations. In his freshman season, he showed off to coaches and opponents, scoring 9.3 ppg, shooting a shade under 40% from three entirely off the bench. Rice’s play earned him All-ACC Freshman honors, and in the three years following, he lit it up for the Eagles, averaging 18.4 ppg, 5.2 apg, and 1.4 spg, over those three seasons. The former 3-star earned All-ACC honors in each of those years as well as All-ACC tournament honors in 2007.
After going undrafted in 2009, Rice earned a name for himself overseas playing for numerous different teams in a vast array of countries. At 34, he may have played his final pro season in 2020 with AEK Athens of the Greek League.
Rice has proven his skills at a big-name school and has done so overseas, Keifer Sykes wasn’t allotted the same privilege though.
Sykes’ college career started and ended in Green Bay, Wisconsin playing for the Phoenix in the Horizon League. Sykes, unlike Rice, started nearly every single game his freshman season and made use of the opportunity. The kid from Chicago was the youngest player in the nation, let alone the youngest starter. At the end of his 11.2 ppg and 3.3 apg freshman season, he was named to the Horizon League All-Newcomer Team. Sykes only got better from there, being named Horizon League Play of the Year in his final two seasons at Green Bay, averaging 19.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg, and 4.4 apg in that time. He was also named to the honorable mention AP All-American team in those two seasons.
Like Rice, Sykes went undrafted in 2015 and made his way overseas by 2016. At 27 years of age, the Green bay product is still hooping out in Australia for the South Melbourne Phoenix of the Australian National Basketball league.
These two guys are incredibly talented players with years of experience. Guards run The Basketball Tournament, which is a major reason why these two guys will bring a huge impact to Boeheim’s Army.