Syracuse Basketball: Why C.J. Fair Is Crucial to Syracuse's Success This Season

Jay SchaefferContributor IIIAugust 18, 2012

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 22:  C.J. Fair #5 of the Syracuse Orange handles the ball against Jordan Taylor #11 of the Wisconsin Badgers during their 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball East Regional Semifinal game at TD Garden on March 22, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

C.J. Fair had an outstanding 2011-2012 season, which propelled him into the national spotlight. However, Fair really never got the credit he deserved. 

C.J.'s game isn't flashy, which could be the reason he doesn't get enough credit. In fact, Dion Waiters tapped C.J. Fair with the nickname "The Silent Assassin." Often while at the Carrier Dome, I would look up at the scoreboard and wonder how Fair had 15 points, as I could not remember a single one of his baskets. 

Fair is the type of player who does everything his team needs him to do. Even though he primarily played as an undersized power forward last season, he was still second on the team in rebounds. Expect Fair to play a lot more small forward this year with the additions of Dajuan Coleman and Jerami Grant. 

One thing that Fair needs to improve on is his jump shot. He is an inconsistent mid-range shooter, and a poor three-point shooter. If Fair can improve on this, defenders will no longer be able to sag off when he is on the perimeter. 

Fair is now a veteran on this very young Orange team and will be expected to lead the team on and off the floor. Although Fair isn't the most vocal player, he leads by example. The young big men on the Syracuse squad can learn a lot from a player like Fair, and hopefully he will embrace that role.

Fair also has an opportunity to increase his draft stock, as he is now a focal point in the Syracuse offense. Expect big things from C.J. Fair this season, as he is primed to be the star of the Syracuse team.