Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

D. Knickols and G. McNama6er

Posted by Josh on July 9, 2007

OK, so only one of those actually works, and is stupid enough that it might end up across the back page of the Daily News if Demetris wins a game for them someday.

Gerry and Demetris both saw their first action in the summer league Monday. Gerry, playing on two sore ankles, did not do much. He played nearly 9 minutes, scoring 3 points on 1-3 fg and 1-1 ft. His two misses were three-point attempts. He did not record an assist, but had three fouls and three turnovers.

Demetris had a bit better time against Kevin Durant and the Sonics. He scored 13 points on 6-12 shooting; interestingly, only 1-5 from long range but 5-7 from closer in. In fact, his first basket was a driving layup on which he drew a foul (missing the free throw, though, surprisingly). He grabbed two rebounds and had three assists against only one turnover. But my favorite stat is that he blocked two shots. One of the blocks was of a shot by Durant, and the other… also was Durant. In fact, here’s a snippet of the play-by-play from the 2nd quarter:

  • 5:20 — Durant Layup Shot: Missed
    Block: Nichols (1 BLK)
  • 5:18 — Robinson Rebound (Off:1 Def:1)
  • 5:16 — Nichols Dunk Shot: Made (7 PTS)
    Assist: Robinson (3 AST)
  • 4:56 — Durant Turnaround Jump Shot: Missed
    Block: Nichols (2 BLK)
  • 4:52 — Balkman Rebound (Off:2 Def:1)
  • 4:50 — Nichols Reverse Layup Shot: Made (9 PTS)
    Assist: Balkman (1 AST)

So he blocked a Durant layup, ran the floor and threw down a fast break dunk off a feed from Nate Robinson. (I wonder if it will make the highlights?) Then next time down the floor, Durant tried to shoot over him and he blocked that too, and ran down to get a fast break layup. This from a guy who they said needed to improve his defense to get regular PT in the Association. Durant finished the game shooting 4-19 from the floor. I’m sure Nichols wasn’t the only one guarding him, but clearly Demetris had something to do with it. At least for this 30-second span, he made Kevin Durant his bitch. How many people can make that claim?


Posted in Demetris Nichols, Former Orangemen, Gerry McNamara, NBA | 2 Comments »

NBA Summer League Update

Posted by Josh on July 8, 2007

On Lucky Saturday (7/7/07) Darryl Watkins played 12 minutes for the Kings’ summer league team. He had 7 points (2-5 fg, 3-3 ft) and 5 rebounds. Gerry McNamara has a sprained ankle (yes, again) so he’s missed the 76ers’ first two summer league games. The Knicks’ team, featuring Demetris Nichols, has not played yet this summer. Their first game is Monday 7/9.

Posted in Demetris Nichols, Former Orangemen, Gerry McNamara, Mookie Watkins, NBA | 1 Comment »

Almost as awesome as 2003 (Pro Update 7-6)

Posted by Josh on July 6, 2007

Following on the heels of Elvir Ovcina’s championship in Belgium, Josh Pace has brought home the hardware from even further away.

In the last update we mentioned that Pace was the regular season MVP of the NBL in New Zealand, and that his team, the Nelson Giants, had made the finals of their playoffs. Well, Nelson laughed (‘haw-haw!’) in the faces of their opponents, the Easy LPG Bay Hawks, by sweeping the best-of-three series last week. In Game One, Pace had 23 points and 5 rebounds, leading his team to a 9-point win on the road. In Game 2, Pace had 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists, and the Giants celebrated the championship on their home floor. I haven’t found any news on who was named the Playoffs MVP (if they even do such a thing) but the smart money is on J-Peezy, who now has an NBL Championship Medal to go with his NCAA ring.

In NBA news, Mike Waters was first to report that Darryl Watkins signed a free agent contract with the Kings, and Gerry McNamara signed one with the 76ers. They, along with Demetris Nichols, will be playing in the Las Vegas summer league which starts today (in fact, Philadelphia is playing as we speak — the scoreboard shows the game at halftime, and Gerry has not got in the game yet). We’ll let you know how they do.

Posted in Demetris Nichols, Elvir Ovcina, Former Orangemen, Gerry McNamara, Josh Pace, Mookie Watkins, NBA | 1 Comment »

An open letter to NBA general managers: You seem to have forgotten about Terrence Roberts

Posted by Tom on July 2, 2007

Soaking in the recent megabuzz surrounding this year’s NBA draft, I was pleased to notice the names of Syracuse studs Demetris Nichols and Daryl Watkins tossed around by your ilk. They’re good players, and their likely signing to one of your rosters will serve you well. But in everything from the pre-draft buzz to the draft day reality, the absence of one man’s name from the chatter seemed inexplicable. Left out of the field was a chiseled 6-9 athlete carrying 230 pounds of pure muscle. A man with the heart of a lion, and the power, hunger, and coachability of a kodiak bear. That’s right, NBA general managers. Right about now you should be getting that sinking feeling like you just left your ATM card at a gas station 200 miles back. The time has come for you to explain to your fans how you let Terrence Roberts slip through the cracks. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Big East, Demetris Nichols, Former Orangemen, Haters, kodiak bears, Mookie Watkins, NBA, Open Letter, syracuse, Terrence Roberts, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Vee Ars des Chaampioners (Pro Update 6-27)

Posted by Josh on June 28, 2007

Elvir Ovcina has some jewelry!

Elvir Ovcina Championship

Telinuds Oostende has won the Belgian League Championship. When we last checked in, they’d taken the first game of a best-of-five series. The series went the full five games. Euphony Bree won the second game, in which Elvir had 12 points and 8 boards. Telindus came back to dominate game three, winning by 19 — Elvir with 15 & 8. Game four was a nailbiter, with Bree erasing a 4-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter, and squeaking out a 1-point victory on their home court. Elvir went scoreless in this one, and grabbed just 5 boards. This set up the deciding game, on Telindus’ home floor.

And it wasn’t even close. The superheroes from Oostende crushed the pretenders 100-77. Elvir had another 15 points and 8 boards. Thus overjoying tribal monk-chefs all over Belgium. Plus look at the size of that cup! And the jaw of the guy holding it!


Meanwhile, in New Zealand… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Craig Forth, Demetris Nichols, Elvir Ovcina, Former Orangemen, Josh Pace, Mookie Watkins, NBA | 2 Comments »

Random love from Sports Illustrated

Posted by Tim on June 27, 2007

Don’t know why, but Sports Illustrated gives a (very) brief rundown of the top 10 athletes in SU history. Carmelo Anthony and Dave Bing make an appearance, among others. Worth checking out if you’re starved for Syracuse content.

Posted in Carmelo Anthony, Former Orangemen | 2 Comments »

A ghost from the (recent) past

Posted by Tom on June 24, 2007

Recently, work obligations brought me to the annual gala fundraising dinner for Rising Stars, a basketball-based youth program in New York. I came into the event excited to chew the fat with featured speaker Jason McElwain, the autistic high school team manager who became the feel-good story of 2006 when he got into a game and started draining sick threes every time down the court. The highlight still gives me chills even after seeing it at least ten times:

I remembered hearing in the blitz of media coverage that surrounded this that Jason (a Rochester native) was a big Syracuse fan, and that he went by J-Mac in honor of his hero Gerry McNamara. In talking to him, he turned out to be a pretty quiet kid who felt strongly about two things: that Syracuse totally got screwed by the selection committee this year, and that the new practice facility that Carmelo donated 3 million for would be completely awesome.

In any case, our chit chat was interrupted by a vaguely familiar-looking older gentleman who approached us with inexplicable glee. “I hear what you’re talking about!” and then to Jason, “do you want to tell him, or should I? Go on, you tell him!”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Carmelo Anthony, Former Orangemen, Gerry McNamara, Hakim Warrick, Jim Boeheim, Losses, NCAA Tournament | 1 Comment »

the most productive defensive player in franchise history?

Posted by syracusan on June 14, 2007

I’m kicking it back to football for a hot second.

Bad news for a former SU standout today, as Donovan Darius was just released by the only team he’s ever played for, the Jacksonville Jaguars. I knew that Darius had put together a pretty solid and dependable pro career since his departure from campus, but I never realized quite how excellent he’s been. As this glowing goodbye article from Len Pasquarelli suggests, he has a claim to being the best defender in Jaguar history, if you consider the whole career and overall numbers. Granted he was never a superstar in any given one year, but collectively he’s done more in nine years than just about anyone for that franchise. Good on ya, Donovan. Given that this release was mostly for financial reasons, here’s hoping free agent riches await you.

Posted in Former Orangemen | 1 Comment »

The Next Rasheed?

Posted by Josh on June 10, 2007

Checking out’s workouts list, they indicate that Darryl Watkins will be working out for the Pistons on Monday, alongside Josh McRoberts. (Although, they inexplicably list Mookie as coming from Boston College!)  Amidst rumors that Rasheed Wallace is on his way out of Detroit, there may be room for another power forward/center on the roster. Detroit has one of the last picks in the draft (#57 out of 60). If Mook is chosen at all, it will be around that time, and in fact hoopshype’s latest mock draft has Detroit choosing him with that pick.’s workout list does not show Mookie’s Pistons workout, but it does say that last week he met with the Heat on June 6 and the Bulls on June 7. Their mock draft projects him being chosen by San Antonio with pick #58.

Draftexpress’ workout list also indicates that Nichols will be meeting with the Warriors on June 20, the day before he goes to Portland. They mock-project him to the Warriors at #36, while hoopshype and both have him going to Seattle at #35.

Posted in Demetris Nichols, Mookie Watkins, NBA | Leave a Comment »

Nichols’ Workout Schedule

Posted by Josh on June 6, 2007

Readers of Mike Waters’ SU Hoops blog will have seen that Demetris Nichols had a private workout for the Knicks and Nets yesterday. Well, “private” beacuse it included 3 other players. Here’s a somewhat fluffy story from about it. The Nets GM is quoted as saying: “The kid can really knock down shots.” There is a (very) slightly more substantial piece on the Nets’ official site, with Demetris talking a little bit about his game, and saying “most all of my shots today were going in … as usual.” Quite a change in confidence level from a couple years ago. But this is about all we’ll get from these workouts — the regular media is usually banned from them, so the only sources are the post-workout news conferences where the GMs and coaches are careful not to let slip anything substantial about the players’ performances, lest they tip their hand before draft day.

It’s likely that Nichols will work for a lot of other teams before the summer is over. Most teams release their workout schedule sporadically during the summer. has a list of all the upcoming confirmed workouts (though they delete those that have already occurred from the list). But someone at the Portland Oregonian has got a hold of the Blazers’ entire schedule, and put it on their Blazers Blog. Portland has the #1 pick so there is great interest in who they are working out and when. Nichols is on there, and the Blazers have picks #7 and #12 in round 2, right about where he is projected. But the most notable thing about his workout is who he’s scheduled around:

  • Wednesday, June 20: GREG ODEN, Ohio St
  • Thursday, June 21: Greg Oden breakfast; Demetris Nichols, Syracuse; Kevin Durant dinner
  • Friday, June 22: KEVIN DURANT, Texas

It’s going to be quite a scene in Portland those few days, and Nic will be in the middle of it all (literally) getting a glimpse of the media frenzy. I wonder if the Blazers’ brass will even be paying attention during his workout. I can imagine their minds constantly wandering as Demetris drops in trey after trey, his silky shooting rhythm lulling them to sleep.

Posted in Demetris Nichols, NBA | Leave a Comment »