This is CuseOrange’s second go-round with the SOBs and we’re very excited to be taking part again, especially after a season filled with so many nice surprises. The herd of SU bloggers is one we’re ecstatic to be a part of and props go out to Sean at Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician for organizing this year’s festivities and to our fellow bloggers for their participation, humor, insight, and in the case of the Glaude, thirst for Hoya Blood. Now onto the award.
SU brought in three scholarship freshmen last season, and while we got a brief look at him in 2008-09, Mookie Jones was granted a medical redshirt year, so he qualified as a freshman as well. There was also a pair of walk-ons in Griffin Hoffmann and Matt Lyde-Cajuste, so all told, the freshman class was the largest on the team last year, with six players.
Eat your heart out, Kentucky.
However, the sheer volume didn’t make it difficult for us to find our man. This year’s SOB for Best Freshman goes to Brandon Triche. He came into the program a little under-the-radar nationally, but before the season started, you couldn’t find a bigger Triche cheerleader than Jim Boeheim, who didn’t leave the successor of Jonny Flynn at point guard up for much debate. He wasted as little time naming him the starter as he did recruiting him.
We at CuseOrange were impressed by Triche more and more as the season went along. He was a little erratic times, but there was never any doubt that he could be a weapon in Boeheim’s system. Not only did he get a full season under his belt in a starting role, something rare for a freshman at SU without immediate NBA aspirations, but he also got some solid postseason experience. The race wasn’t close among the bloggers, but here’s what they had to say:
Sean Keely – Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician – The only freshman to log any meaningful minutes, Triche proved himself a capable and worthy successor to Jonny Flynn. He’s still got some learning to do, but the game will come to him.
Dan Lyons – Bleacher Report – Brandon Triche: He was the only Freshman among the vaunted “seven starters”, and while he struggled in Big East play for the most part, he had some big performances against West Virginia, and Vermont in the Big Dance, and was a vital member of the team.
Jameson Fleming – Bleacher Report – Brandon Triche: He had the second highest three-point percentage of any freshman in Syracuse history and had the eighth most assists of any freshman in Orange history. Triche could develop into all Big East performer someday and a potential first round pick by the time he’s done in Syracuse.
Andrew – Three Idiots On Sports – Since Mookie was technically a freshman….I’m just kidding. It’s got to be Brandon Triche. He had an up and down freshman year, but overall it was a success, expect big thing to come from this kid. As long as he doesn’t go all Cody Catalina and lift himself right out of a position. Dude is jacked.
Orange Chuck – Big Orange Bloggers – Brandon Triche: I almost voted for Mookie but Coach B is a hater didn’t give the man enough playing time. So what if he didn’t earn it, he will be more than happy to tell you that he did. I think Triche will have a great 4 years in a Syracuse uniform and make his uncle (and SU fans) proud.
Brian Harrison – Orange:44 – Brandon Triche: He was the only freshman that really played significant minutes and for the most part handled it like a pro. While he did play like a frosh on occasion, he mostly handled being a starting point guard in the Big East like a seasoned veteran.
The Glaude - Hoya Suxa – Brandon Triche: Although I wish that he’d wear short-shorts to honor his uncle Howard (It’s true! Howard Triche played for Syracuse!), Triche acquitted himself quite nicely in his first tour of duty on the S.S. Boeheim. Triche’s offense was streaky at times, which is to be expected from a true freshman, but overall he did a nice job.
Josh over at Cuse Country went a different route, nominating Mookie Jones for wearing his heart on his sleeve:
We all loved to see him in the game, and we never knew what would happen when he did show up. A barrage of three-point attempts, usually, and sloppy defense. Meanwhile his off-court drama kept us riveted and entertained. And I think going into next season he is the most intriguing returning player. If his head is on straight and he dedicates himself in the off-season, he could break out big time.
Syracusan, Josh’s co-blogger, was tempted by the small sample size posted by James Southerland, but eventually sided with the prevailing nominations:
Assuming we’re basing this category entirely on the exhibition game against Cal State-LA in October, I’m going with James Southerland. He dropped 19 points! 5-5 from 3 point range! Clearly he’s going to be the stud outside shooter this team needs to replace Eric Devendorf. He’ll probably be getting 15-20 minutes of PT for the rest of the year, and potentially emerge as the 6-man. (Wait, what? We’re basing this award on the whole season? Oh, OK, then probably it should go to Brandon Triche. Honorable mention to Matt Lyde-Cajuste for representin’ hard with that hyphen)
We’ll know kick it to Dan Lyons to give the SOB for Most Surprising Player