It’s summertime. That means football practice is starting soon, and basketball recruiting is in full swing. But, that leaves the perfect opportunity to dive into one of the more fun developments over the past decade or so for SU hoops fans, and that is watching Orange alumni compete in The Basketball Tournament every summer.
Last summer, for the first time, a team constructed by Adam Weitsman and Kevin Belbey finally took home the million-dollar prize by going outside the box with roster construction. TBT legends like DJ Kennedy and DeAndre Kane joined the squad, along with guards Tyrese Rice and Keifer Sykes.
Those four guys made a huge difference along with the Orange alums, as in close win after the close win it was a different star making an impact. But, it was Sykes who drained the game-winner in the finals to win it for Boeheim’s Army with the man whose name defines the team sitting courtside. Sykes then went on to earn a contract with the Indiana Pacers because of his stellar play.
This summer, Belbey, and Weitsman have constructed another championship-caliber roster, with guys like Kennedy, Kane, CJ Fair, and Andrew White III returning.
Orange fans will be happy to see former fan favorites Tyler Ennis and Marek Dolezaj on the squad and the best Syracuse of the last 10 years, Rakeem Christmas, manning the middle of the defense.
The only other name to know is Kyle Wiltjer, who went to Gonzaga, and Orange fans will remember from his performance against SU in the 2016 Sweet Sixteen. He and Domantas Sabonis torched the Syracuse zone, but the Orange were still able to magically advance to the Elite Eight (We all know what happened then).
The main missing name is Eric Devendorf, who has been the heart and soul of Boeheim’s Army since its conception. But, there’s good news on that front even though he might not be on the court in a jersey this summer.
Overall, this team has an excellent combination of guards, wings, and big men who all have different skills to complement each other well. With former Syracuse players and adopted Orange members alike, Boeheim’s Army has a great chance to win TBT again in 2022 and should be considered one of, if not the favorite to win the tournament.