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Nunes::44 - 4/15/09

Troy would never leave early. He's all in.
Today is Wednesday, which means my good friend Sean from Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician and I exchange witty banter through the time tested formula of questions and answers. Today he answers my bright queries as we talk about such topics as the new look of the basketball team, how Marrone is doing at the helm, and what Sean would do if he had Chancy Nancy’s job. Enjoy.

1. Orange::44: Flynn has signed with an agent according to different sources. Is this a good move for him, considering you posted an article from a GM saying he might not be a lottery pick? Are we as SU Basketball fans totally screwed?

Nunes: I don't think anyone will know if this was a good move for Jonny until he actually gets drafted. If he goes in the lottery and ends up on a team that he can make an impact with, then I guess it works out. If he takes a Donte Greene-esque tumble to the end of the first round, you'd be hard-pressed to say it was a smart move. What's especially bothersome is the list of other Big East stars shuffling off to the NBA. Jonny would have DOMINATED the Big East next year. Not a question. He probably would have been the front-runner for Big East POY, Syracuse would have been a top ten team and Jonny would have been up for discussion in the top 6-7 picks overall. Arggg...

Brent Axe had a great line the other day, "Jonny Flynn wasn't bigger than Syracuse Basketball. He simply made it bigger." SU basketball and it's fans will move on, just like we did when Carmelo left. And we've still got some very talented guys in orange uniforms as well as some highly-touted freshman joining them. I think once we all accept this is what's going on we can let it go and move forward. As Donald Rumsfeld would say if he were our Director of Athletics, "You play basketball with the team you have, not the team you wish you had."

2. Orange::44: Let's assume Harris comes back. Who is your starting 5 next year for basketball and how do you think they will perform together?

Nunes: You know, I was about to say that's an iffy assumption but the way things have been going...who's to say??? I won't be surprised either way at this point. If Harris stays, I think there might be a bit of disappointment for him in terms of starting. I think the team needs another pure guard up top. But is starting Scoop worth benching Harris? I honestly don't know.

I mean, Rautins did work on his ball-handling before this season, possibly in preparation for the time when he would be called on. But I don't want Andy Rautins bringing up the ball, I want him shooting it from beyond the three point line. So I'm starting to lean with Scoop, Andy, Wes, AO and Rick Jackson and Paul Harris coming off the bench. And that's probably why I don't think Paul will come back.

3. Orange::44: What are your thoughts on the spring work the football team has put in and are you concerned about players leaving / switching positions?

Nunes: It all sounds great so far. I love hearing about the intensity and the way the coaches are all over these guys. That was sorely lacking from the previous regime. It really does make Greg Robinson's style look even more ridiculous, if that's possible.
I'm not bothered at all by the guys leaving. It is what it is. You've got a group of people used to a certain situation and now that situation is changed. If you can't recognize that the previous situation was bad, as evident by your wins and losses, and that you need this change...you probably shouldn't be here. And I know some of the guys might have left for personal reasons and that's gonna happen, coaching change or not.

The feeling I get from Doug Marrone is...if you're good enough, you work your butt off and you want to be here, you will play. And that's the kind of coaching that will win games with mediocre talent. Because it's going to drive these guys to work harder then they've ever worked before and they're going to be entrusted with these golden opportunities.

4. Orange::44: What was your favorite moment from the past basketball season?

Nunes: I mean, how do you go with anyone other than the 6-OT win over UConn? It was an experience unlike anything I've ever been through. I started watching the game in a bar, listened to the first OT on the radio in the car and then watched all the subsequent OTs at home. The whole time rotating between fingernail-biting excitement and are-you-kidding-me awe. Winning that game was the real coda on this season and this group of guys. It's the first thing we'll all think of when we think of the Jonny Flynn Era.

5. Orange::44: Do you think SU Lacrosse is the #3 team in the country or would you have them somewhere else?

Nunes: They only have two losses and they are to the #1 and #2 teams in the nation. #3 is absolutely where they should be. If things keep playing out the way we expect them to the Orange will likely be the 3-seed in the Tournament, which is fine. I expect Virginia to retake #1 at some point or get the 1-seed in the Tourney, setting up an SU-Princeton rematch in the Final Four. Bring it.

6. Orange::44: Devendorf got a lot of hate directed at him from both opposing fans, as well as the Syracuse faithful. Are you sad to see him go, or had his talking finally pushed you to say good riddins?

Nunes: I'm not saying good riddance but I completely understand why he would want to leave and I'm fine with it as an SU fan. I think the unwanted attention and derision that Eric carries with him crossed over onto an entirely different place at the end of the season and it would be a constant distraction for him and for the entire team next year. You know that we'd all be waiting for him to slip up again and I'm sure he'd be thinking the same thing in the back of his mind. It's like he was on double secret probation and the entire world wants him to fail. I don't know about you but I'd want out of that as well. Now he can go to another country with a clean slate, get paid to play basketball and provide for his daughter. I think he can walk away from SU with his head held high and know that we appreciated "most" of the things he did on the court here, though his legacy will be up for debate for a long time.

All of that said, I'm not-so-secretly happy he's going. Eric already felt he was the true leader of this team...just imagine what he'd be like next year as a senior and with no Jonny. He'd throw up 20 three's a game and take crazy breakaway shots just because he could. You just get the feeling that a regime-change is happening with this team. It's not his time anymore. Next year's team is going to be all about Andy, Wes & AO, amongst others. And that's not such a terrible thing.

7. Orange::44: Finally, if you were appointed Chancellor of Syracuse University, what is the first thing you would do, both school related and athletic related?

Nunes: Athletics-related is easy...I'd restore #44. It's a dumb thing done for dumb reasons and it's dumb that it's still going on. 44 is a carrot we should always be able to dangle out there for the next great running back. And if we're all so worried about a disappointing player wearing it, we'd make a rule that only juniors/seniors could wear it. Either way, that's part of our identity and it's a shame we're not keeping the tradition going.

Overall, I would take a good hard look at the SU Judicial Board and see just how fair and balanced it is. I'd look at past cases, the facts and the end result and see if it was truly serving the University and it's students to the best of it's ability. And if not, I would make necessary changes to ensure that SU students have a fair legal process they can trust in.

Orange::44: The lawyer in me agrees completely with you Sean.

Editor’s Note: This is another installment in the ongoing collaboration between Orange::44 and Nunes/Magician. Usually every other Wednesday Nunes::44 will appear here, while the following week Orange::44/Magician will appear on his site. Until then, enjoy excellent Nunes/Magician articles as always and stay tuned to Orange::44 for complete postgame coverage from every Syracuse game.

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