This is Part I of a 9-day extravaganza that takes a look at each expected rotation player for Syracuse’s 2012-2013 season. I’ll discuss some of their career in Orange up to this point, and what I feel needs to happen with that player for Syracuse to make a Final Four run.
We start our coverage with Syracuse’s most experienced returning player, Brandon Triche. Huge thanks to Orangehoops.org for all of the valuable research material.
Brandon Triche, Senior
Role: Starter, Senior Leader
Best Case Improvement: Assertiveness
If I’m a fan of any other team in the Big East, Triche is definitely the guy I’m instantly puzzled to still see at Syracuse. He’s preparing to graduate from the Carl Krauser/Gerry McNamara/Scottie Reynolds school of “Guys you can’t believe are somehow still in school after 8 years.” Think about this for a moment: Brandon Triche has a chance to become Syracuse’s all-time leader in games started and wins. All-time. That’s the potential for a pretty lofty status on the hill.
Triche has started all 107 games in his time with the Orange, producing 91 wins. He has a chance to become the first Orange player EVER to see three 30-plus win seasons. He’s already hit 1000 points for his career. The only thing missing in what could be a historic legacy is a final four run.
I like Brandon Triche a lot, having grown up in Syracuse and literally known about him since he was in 7th grade. When I’d hear people talk about how he was the weak link in our ‘09-’10 team I’d defend him, saying we were perfectly capable of winning a title with him as the starting PG (which we were – Arinze!!). Having watched him mature through his first three seasons at Syracuse, he’s been the model of consistency as a player. He’s never averaged more than 12 or less than eight points, never more than three or less than two assists.
Triche has never been a guy you’ve had to worry about losing his cool, or doing something stupid off the court. He’s mild-mannered and respectful, yet is an obvious competitor each night he’s on the floor. Despite all of this, it’s his cool, calm demeanor that is sometimes the root of frustration for Syracuse fans. He’s almost too calm. We wouldn’t mind an occasional mean streak, and occasional ill-advised shot for the sake of him playing aggressive. Brandon has shown flashes of brilliance his first three seasons, where seemingly the only one who can stop him is himself.
We need that assertiveness, that willingness to take risks at times. Perhaps being on such veteran-laden teams the past three years were one of the reasons Brandon was okay with taking a backseat. That’s not the case in ‘12-‘13. This is his year. Syracuse needs a locked-in Triche every game to lead them, to take the big shots, to step up and be “the guy” (© Hubert Davis).
One Triche has already led Syracuse to a Final Four as a senior. Orange fans hope the younger Triche can cap a terrific career by doing the same this coming March.
- Kevin Cartini