Following the past few Syracuse basketball seasons, the network of Syracuse blogs has handed out a set of awards for various accomplishments by our players, coaches and fans, called the "Syracuse Orange Blogger" Awards or "S.O.B.s".
This year, I am presenting the award for Syracuse's "Most Surprising Player", the player that broke onto the scene and shocked the 'Cuse community with their excellence on the court this season.
This category was one of the most hotly contested, with three players receiving multiple votes for the award.
On Wes deserving the award, Brian wrote: "Boeheim and his teammates, last year's as well as this year's, really talked him up but I never expected Wooden Finalist, First Team All-American type accolades."
Glaude chimed in, stating that "Boeheim kept yammering about Johnson all offseason but I didn't believe the hype. The guy more than exceeded any expectations folks could have set for him. Alternate Pick: Mookie Jones. I'm surprised he's still a player on Syracuse's roster, to tell you the truth."
The award itself ended in a tie between next year's "Scoop and Kris Show" duo—forward Kris Joseph and point guard Scoop Jardine.
I wrote that Kris "looked simply over-matched at points last year, but this year he turned into our most dynamic scorer going to the hoop, showed an improved jumper, and his rebounding ability is vastly underrated. He has big upside and might break out nationally next year."
Jameson was also surprised by Joseph's impressive play: "Before the season began, I wondered who would be the seventh man on this team. I thought Mookie Jones had a great shot at taking Joseph's minutes, but it turned out Jones doesn't work too hard, unlike Joseph and Kris-Jo is the one who turned his game up about nine notches."
Scoop matched Kris' vote total of 5, with endorsements from Brian Harrison of Orange::44, Orange Chuck of the Big Orange Bloggers, D.A. from Orange Fizz, Josh from Cuse Country, and Syracusan from Cuse Country.
Josh was most impressed with Scoop's vast improvements from his freshman campaign two seasons ago: " His 39% shooting from long range is enough to win the "most surprising" award on its own. But there's more to it than that. Scoop in his freshman year was completely unprepared for everything. He was thrust into major minutes when Devo went down, and made the least of it. Plus his off-court issues. He looked like the next coming of Josh Wright. But look at him now -- an important cog in the system, a reliable contributor and even some leadership (like you hope for from your point guard)."
Syracusan explains his pick of Scoop over Kris: "This appears to be the most divided vote, which surprises me. I definitely have to go with Scoop. Kris made an amazing leap this year, but to me he always had the look of a potentially great player. He showed, ahem, flashes of ability as a freshman -- and I figured eventually he would get his act together and contribute. And regarding Wes, when Jimmy says someone is going to be great, I trust him. I didn't think Wes would be as great as he turned out to be, but still, not a massive shock. Scoop on the other hand, to me, came completely out of nowhere. I absolutely did not see his emergence as a possibility. My underestimation of him was MASSIVE. So hats off to Mr. Jardine, I hope you get this award."
Tomorrow I will be giving out the award for "Worst Moment of the Season" at 1 pm, but next up is the "Biggest Villain/Nemesis" award from the incomparable Hoya Suxa. Be sure to visit there at 2 pm today to see who takes it home.