CJ Fair Will Return To Syracuse For His Senior Season

Mar 30, 2013; Washington, D.C., USA; Syracuse Orange forward C.J. Fair celebrates with teammates after defeating the Marquette Golden Eagles to win the finals of the East regional of the 2013 NCAA Tournament at the Verizon Center. Syracuse Orange won 55-39. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Orange nation can take a big sigh of relief. As reported by Evan Williams of Busting Brackets, CJ Fair has decided to return to Syracuse for his senior season.

Fair  was as consistent as they come in college basketball last season, leading the team in both scoring and rebounding. CJ will undoubtedly be the staple of Syracuse next season heading in to the Orange’s first year in the ACC. Williams first reported that Fair was only going to go pro if he was guaranteed to have a great draft position.

As reported last week, Fair had not planned to forgo his senior season without a first-round guarantee in this year’s draft. In the NBA, only first rounders earn guaranteed contracts — two-year pacts with third and fourth-year options. Second round picks commonly end up abroad or in the D-League playing for five-figure salaries.

Current evaluations from league scouts and executives have Fair bracketed as an early to mid-second round selection. Fair had received intel from NBA executives by way of the Syracuse coaching staff to assist his decision.

I think this is a great decision for Fair. He has vastly improved every season throughout his college career, and I expect that to be the case again next winter. Fair was the lone bright spot in Atlanta against Michigan in the Final Four, where he caused problems for the Wolverines all night. I believe Fair will be a candidate to be an All-American next season, and can contend to be ACC player of the year. With a good senior season, Fair should be able to put himself in that position to be a guaranteed first rounder, and can really help his position in the NBA down the road.

With Fair back for his senior season, the Syracuse front court will be one of the best in the conference, with Baye Keita, DaJuan Coleman, Rakeem Christmas, and Jerami Grant all returning to compliment CJ.