Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse Orange Hoopsters In The NBA


Through all the years that Jim Boeheim has been coaching men’s basketball at Syracuse University, he has never had a problem attracting basketball talent to the program. Many ‘talking heads’ have said that Boeheim has not done enough with the talent that has come through the program, but that is a discussion for another day. When a program like Syracuse attracts such basketball talent, the inevitable question becomes how many of it’s players make it to ‘The Show’ (aka: the NBA) and how well prepared are those players for all the demands at the professional level?

So we here at Inside The Loudhouse thought it would be interesting to take a look at how former Syracuse basketball players now in the NBA are doing over the course of the long season. So every month or so, we will provide a quick snapshot look at their overall season stats, what they have done in their most recent 10 games, and call out any highlights, lowlights, and news of note. For the sake of clarity and consistency, we will only feature those SU alums who are on current NBA rosters at the time the piece is published.

As of today, there are currently five four Syracuse University basketball alums on NBA rosters:

 

Carmelo Anthony – NY Knicks

Full Season Statistics

Games Pts/Gm Rbs/Gm Asst/Gm FT % FG % 3 Pt FG %
19 (5W – 14L) 25.2 9.7 2.7 83.4% 43.1% 29.4%

 

Last 10 Games

Games Pts/Gm Rbs/Gm Asst/Gm FT % FG % 3 Pt FG %
10 (3W – 7L) 25.1 9.7 2.8 85.5% 47.1% 23.3%

 

Insights and Observations

  • Melo and the Knicks have had a rough past 10 games, losing 7 over that span.
  • Melo’s personal statistics have been fairly consistent over the past 10 games compared to his season averages. His PPG, Assists and Rebounds are flat vs. his full year stats, but his FT% is up slightly.
  • The one big drop is in 3 Point FG%, which is off by 25% from his full season average.

Digging Into The Stats

  • Almost two thirds (64.5%) of Melo’s points are “unassisted”, meaning he is taking, creating shots, and scoring on his own after receiving the ball. Or, to put it another way, when he gets his hands on the ball, it’s going up. To put that in perspective, only about half (51%) of Paul George’s (Indiana Pacers) points, and less than half (47%) of LeBron James’ points are ‘unassisted’.
  • Surprisingly, Melo is shooting slightly better on the road (43.8%)vs at home (42.5%). However, his Free Throw percentage is far better at home (87.5%) vs on the road (78.5%).

 

 

Michael Carter-Williams – Philadelphia 76ers

Full Season Statistics

Games Pts/Gm Rbs/Gm Asst/Gm FT % FG % 3 Pt FG %
15 (6W – 9L) 17.7 5.8 7.3 67.1% 40.8% 32.4%

 

Last 10 Games

Games Pts/Gm Rbs/Gm Asst/Gm FT % FG % 3 Pt FG %
7 (2W – 5L) 18.0 6.3 7.0 64.3% 43.0% 23.3%

 

Insights and Observations

  • MCW won the November 2013 NBA Rookie of the Month as well as the NBA Player of the Week for the week ending 11/4/13
  • MCW has missed his last four games with an infection in his knee. That does not sound good! Hoping for a quick recovery!
  • MCW is actually playing slightly better on the road than in Philly. He’s scoring 20 PPG on the road (vs 16 PPG at home), he’s shooting better on the road (44.9% vs. 38.2%) and creating more steals (4.0 vs 2.7) on the road

Digging Into The Stats

  • MCW is very effective when he drives to the basket. He’s 7th in league in Points Per Game on Drives. Similar to his years at Syracuse, he is using his length to get to the rim.
  • MCW’s importance to the 76ers is huge. Over 76% of their front court touches go through MCW, which is to be expected for a team’s point guard.

 

Dion Waiters – Cleveland Cavaliers

Full Season Statistics

Games Pts/Gm Rbs/Gm Asst/Gm FT % FG % 3 Pt FG %
19 (7W – 12L) 13.9 3.2 2.4 67.1% 41.7% 37.3%

 

Last 10 Games

Games Pts/Gm Rbs/Gm Asst/Gm FT % FG % 3 Pt FG %
10 (4W – 6L) 14.5 3.2 2.6 71.7% 43.6% 33.3%

 

Insights and Observations

  • Ironically, Dion’s full year shooting percentages are very similar to MCW’s
  • Dion has been involved in some locker room controversy recently, as reports of a rift between him and Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson has been widely reported. There is also a lot of speculation that Cleveland is shopping him around to other NBA teams.
  • Waiters has been a much more effective scorer on the road, averaging 19 PPG compared to only 11.5 in Cleveland.
  • His assists are slightly higher on the road (2.8 away vs 2.5 home), however his FT% and FG% on the road (82.4% and 51.8% respectively) are significantly higher compared to at home (65.5% and 36.1% respectively).

 

Wesley Johnson – Los Angeles Lakers

Full Season Statistics

Games Pts/Gm Rbs/Gm Asst/Gm FT % FG % 3 Pt FG %
21 (10W – 11L) 8.2 3.5 1.3 76.9% 43.7% 44.8%

 

Last 10 Games

Games Pts/Gm Rbs/Gm Asst/Gm FT % FG % 3 Pt FG %
10 (W6 – L4) 9.1 3.2 2.6 75.0% 57.1% 50.0%

 

Insights and Observations

  • Wes has been shooting well recently,with his FG% at 57% compared to only 43% across the full year.
  • He’s averaging almost a point more per game over the last 10, however it appears he is getting fewer shots per game over that same span.
  • The return of Kobe Bryant to the Laker line up will probably mean fewer shots for Wes (along with fewer shots for the rest of the Laker roster :).
  • While it is early in the year, Wes is statistically having his best shooting season of his 4 year career. He is shooting 43.7% from the field this year compared to 39.7% his rookie year (with Minnesota), while his 3 Point shooting this year (44.8%) has seen a dramatic improvement compared to his rookie year (35.8%).

 

James Southerland – Charlotte Bobcats

  • Unfortunately, James Southerland was waived from the Charlotte Bobcats on December 11th. Southerland is a money shooter who was critical to Syracuse’s 2012 run to the NCAA Final Four! We are hoping he gets picked up by another team quickly!

So that is a quick snapshot of how our former Syracuse players are fairing in the NBA. If there are any items that you would like to see covered in the future, please leave your suggestions in the comments below.

Statistics Source: stats.nba.com

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Tags: Basketball Syracuse Orange