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SU Top 100: Most Underrated

We did it. We have officially made it through our SU Top 100 list. To do something like this takes a lot of time and effort. It’s definitely not easy. The staff at Orange Fizz is proud of the list we came up with, but obviously nothing is perfect. So this week, we will be looking back at our work to see where we can improve.

Yesterday we released the “Biggest Snubs.” Today, we are looking at the “Most Underrated” players on our list. These are the athletes who each staff member thinks was undervalued and should have been ranked higher. Take a look at who they are and read about why they are underrated:

Brad: Emily Hawryschuk

If 2020 hadn’t been cancelled, Emily Hawryschuk would have ranked higher on the list. The Victor, NY native would have ranked higher not because she was pacing over five goals per game, or because of her historic seven-goal performance in the season opener, but because she was destined for the Tewaaraton Award for the best player in the country. She would have been the program’s first recipient. But Hawryschuk is returning for another season. Even though she has room to build her resumé, what Hawryschuk already accomplished should be enough to rank higher than No. 84. Her 193 career goals ranks 6th most for any Syracuse woman on the Hill. As a junior, the attack netted 75 goals in 2019, tied for second most in a single season with Christina Dove. Kayla Treanor holds the top-spot with 79 goals in 2014. 

Gill: Andre Cisco 

It’s hard to measure how good defensive players are sometimes. Sometimes great defense doesn’t show up in the box score. Chris Slayton, for a recent example, was an impact nose tackle for Syracuse and didn’t put up stats at all. What’s so outrageous about Cisco’s ranking is that he is putting up stats. 125 tackles, 12 INTs, 16 pass breakups and two interceptions in two seasons. Cisco is the active FBS leader in interceptions, despite missing three games last year. Are you kidding me? Let’s use our thinking caps and extrapolate a little. Cisco could be one of the best defensive players who has ever worn Orange when it’s all said and done. Not sure why the All-American is ranked so low at #69. I had him at #30. 

Thomas: Mike Leveille

Look, I’m not going to pretend to be the biggest lacrosse fan in the world. And I know we have a tendency to rate basketball and football players higher than other sports. But Mike Leveille barely cracking the top 50 of our rankings is inexcusable. In the historic history of SU’s lacrosse program, it has only had two Tewaaraton Trophy winners – essentially the Heisman Trophy of college lacrosse. Leveille was one of them. That should warrant him Top-15 all-time Syracuse athlete status. So few players in any sport were ever the best in their sport. In his senior season, Leveille scored 11 goals and 19 points in SU’s four postseason wins. A year when the Orange tacked on another National Championship. After being awarded the highest honor in college lacrosse and bringing home a National Championship, Leveille should easily be ranked in the Top 10. Instead, he ended up No. 49 on our list. 

Ian: Tyler Ennis 

The fact that we have Tyler Ennis at the 66 spot and Dion Waiters nine above him at 57 is an injustice to basketball fans everywhere. Anyone who watched Syracuse play during these years knows the load that Ennis had to carry during his lone season on the Hill. It seemed like every close game was waiting for Ennis to close it out. Consider the first time SU ever played Duke, or the game winner against Pitt. Ennis averaged 13 points, 6 assists, and 3 rebounds in his one year at Syracuse, and took command of a team that should’ve been lost after MCW left. He was the total package as a player. However, Dion Waiters has had a “successful” NBA career.

Jaron: Kayla Treanor

It is an absolute travesty putting Kayla Treanor at No. 59 on our SU Top 100 list. She is one of only five Syracuse athletes to ever be a First Team All-American every single year she was on the hill. She was a three-time Tewaaraton Award Finalist. Plus, Treanor led the Orange to four-straight Final Fours. To put that in perspective, Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse has been to seven Final Fours in program history. So, Kayla Treanor played in over half of those games.

Treanor is known as a revolutionary player for the sport of lacrosse. It sounds drastic, but Kayla Treanor is to women’s lacrosse, what Gary Gait is to men’s lax. She played a much more creative game than anyone before her, kind of like box lacrosse. The moves and things she did weren’t normal and are now being imitated by the best of the best.

Let me put it this way– if you could get Kayla Treanor at pick number 59 in a Syracuse Athletics fantasy draft, it would be the biggest steal you could ever have.

Matt: Marvin Graves

Set at 72 on this list, Marvin Graves sits around names like Michael Carter-Williams at Tiana Mangakahia. Who are very talented and absolutely deserving of their spots on this list, but a little bit shabby in terms of company for one of the greatest quarterbacks to call Syracuse home. In his time in SU threads, Graves led his squads to two ten-win seasons and three bowl-winning seasons. He was a bonafide winner. Not to mention he currently sits third in all-time program passing yards, and fourth in passing touchdowns. Graves’ ability to win should have him much higher on this list, especially when looking up the list, seeing a name like Eric Dungey at 45, there’s no doubt Graves was at least as good as him.

D.A.: Kayla Treanor

The type of legacy she established at Syracuse is outrageous. For her not to crack the top 50 is a huge oversight. She’s one of only 5 SU players ever to be All-American all four years. She was a finalist for the best player in the nation three consecutive years. She was one of the most important players on four consecutive Final Four teams. Imagine Jim Brown being a Heisman finalist for three straight seasons. Or Derrick Coleman leading SU to four straight Final Fours. Of course women’s lacrosse isn’t as deep or decorated as football or men’s basketball, but what Treanor accomplished is the equivalent of these benchmarks. She is one of the greatest collegiate women’s lacrosse players ever and deserved to be in the top 25. 

Harrison: Joe Morris

Jim Brown, Floyd Little, Larry Csonka. These are all names of Syracuse rushers who dominated the opposition, but none of them racked up as many yards for the Orange as Joe Morris. With 4,229 yards in his four seasons at SU, Morris is the program’s all-time leading rusher. His distinguished career on The Hill led right into a successful tenure in the NFL as well, which included a Super Bowl victory with the Giants and multiple trips to the Pro Bowl.

Tyler: Jim Boeheim

Are the numbers gaudy? Of course not. But imagine if Boeheim had packed it up after his freshman season or decided the walk-on path was not for him? Syracuse athletics might never be the same. Are we sure this university would be anything more than a MAC or Patriot League team? The butterfly effect can lead to catastrophic results. While most of his achievements have come while wearing a suit and tie, he may never get to that position without overcoming the odds as a walk-on athlete for the Orange. Not a single person means more to their university than Boeheim. He was instrumental in making the Big East what it was. Can you imagine not having those memories as a part of your childhood? You might even be a St. John’s fan now. Boeheim put Syracuse on the map and gave it staying power. No one else on this list can say that.

You can see the complete SU Top 100 list by clicking here.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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