(Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
So Jonny Flynn, Eric Devendorf, and Paul Harris have all declared themselves eligible for the NBA draft. As a Syracuse fan, you are probably thinking two things (at least this is what I thought):
1. Jonny Flynn OK, but why would the other two leave college early to NOT play in the NBA?
2. Where do we go from here?
But I must say, Eric Devendorf threw a curve ball at me.
I actually had this discussion with a buddy of mine while driving back from New York following the Big East Tournament. The argument was brought up of "hey he has his degree, what does he have left to do at Syracuse now?", and I guess I see that point.
But at the same time, why would you give up your dream of playing in the NBA when you can still take a shot at it?
With one more year of eligibility left you would think he would return to Syracuse, be in the national spotlight every week as a top five team, and get some publicity and sharpen your image for next year's draft. Apparently Eric and myself are on a different wavelength.
But in Eric's defense, at least he is going to have a degree from Syracuse University. The same cannot be said for Harris.
Let me be the first person to say that I love Harris' hustle and ability to do the small things for this team. Having said that, Harris is not ready to play in the NBA. Not only is he not ready to play in the NBA, but he has no college degree to fall back on if is professional career does not work out.
Jonny Flynn will make millions playing basketball. Harris more than likely will not. And when his playing career is over, then what is he going to do?
Call me a guidance counselor, or an old man, but Harris' future could be potentially screwed if he does not get this degree. Playing in Europe can only be so fun for so long.
The player that I feel most comfortable about coming back next year is coincidentally the one with the highest NBA stock right now. Flynn could very easily be a lottery pick in this draft, but for some reason I still think he will be back next year to lead this team. Granted, I did say the same thing about Paul Harris
, but I think I'm right about this one.
Now there still is the possibility of all three coming back. The Syracuse athletics press release yesterday stated that Flynn did not sign with an agent, but did not specify the intentions of the other two. This definitely hints that we are losing Harris and Devendorf, but it is not official since no players have said ANYTHING since all of this went down.
Now Syracuse basketball fans, where do we go from here?
The possibility of losing Harris sucks, but we can manage without him. Devendorf? That's kind of a punch in the gut considering he is 14th on the list of Syracuse all time scorers (also noting that if he averaged 17 points a game over a 35 game schedule he would pass Lawrence Moten as SU's all time leading scorer), especially since he is leaving to more than likely not make an NBA roster. Losing his shooting and scoring ability will definitely hurt the 'Cuse next year. But I think it is safe to say that all of Syracuse is awaiting the decision of Jonny Flynn.
To be blunt: Syracuse is a top 10 team with Flynn, and a No. 20-25 team without him.
No pressure, though, Jonny.