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April 10, 2009 9:00 AM

Syracuse Declaring They Won't Be Contenders?


Yesterday I mentioned how Syracuse was one the ridiculously early picks to win it all next year but that Eminem Eric Devendorf was declaring for the NBA Draft. Well, you can add two more to the list of Syracuse players testing the NBA waters. SU Athletics released this statement:
Syracuse men’s basketball players Eric Devendorf and Paul Harris plan to enter their names into the 2009 NBA draft. Jonny Flynn has decided to submit his name for the NBA draft but will not retain an agent, enabling himself the opportunity to return to Syracuse for the 2009-10 season.
It all makes perfect sense. Let them test the waters and try to gauge the interest of the NBA. Flynn would certainly be a first-rounder – probably a mid first-rounder – but the big knock on him is his range (he shot under 32% from distance this past season). But he was one of the quickest players in college basketball, and could get to the rim at will.

Paul Harris might have entered the NBA Draft straight out of high school in 2006 if the NBA hadn't instituted that players had to wait one year after graduating to be eligible. But during his freshman year he didn't exactly set the basketball world on ablaze. He has steadily improved over his first three seasons, but most don't think he will fit in the NBA. Harris is a 6'4 forward that shoots 23% from three-point range. Go ahead and read that again. He's a tenacious rebounder and is built like a truck, but physical gifts alone won't cut it in the NBA. Another year working on his jump shot doesn't just seem like a good idea, but a must.

I've already discussed Devendorf - he'd make a great addition to a D-League team.

We'll have to wait and see if any of them end up retaining an agent, but this could be a crushing blow to the Orange next season.

Photo via The Post-Standard

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