Friday, April 25, 2008

SOBs - Most Surprising Player of the Year

The 2007-2008 season for Syracuse was full of surprises, most of them in the negative. Injuries galore and several blown leads of immense proportion. There were some positives to the season, and a couple of surprising players. The SOB voters got together and tried to determine the most surprising player of the season.

Justin Thomas, the backup point guard (bet you didn’t even know we had one with Flynn playing every minute of every game, or close to it), received one vote.

“Justin Thomas. I didn't even know he was on the team until Josh Wright left for parts unknown.” – Matt, HoyaSuxa

Donte’ Greene also received one vote, which proves different strokes for different folks, as he also received a few votes for most disappointing player.

“"Donte' Greene. I was under the impression that he was going to come
in and score a lot down low and be a great rebounder who could shoot
the three if he had too. Turns out he was the complete opposite." – Jameson, CuseAdelphia

Greene’s classmate Jonny Flynn received a vote.

“Jonny Flynn. Yes, I know everyone knew he had talent. But how many talented players can then take a team that has been undermanned for most of the season and bring them within 1 win of going to the NCAA Tournament as a freshman? What "surprised" me is that for most of his game Flynn played a smart game and did what he knew he could do. If you notice, the games where Flynn tried to do "too much" are the games where SU either lost or was in a close game.” – A.E.M, Orange Squeeze

The runner up for the most surprising player of 2007-2008 went to the big guy in the middle, Arinze Onuaku, who received 3 votes.

“Arinze - while we expected him to be solid in the middle, he surpassed expectations” -- Three Idiots on Sports

“Arinze Onuaku. He did not play that much his freshman season (243 minutes), and missed all of last year with injury. I thought he was going to be a big body in the middle, someone to bang around, plug some holes, and give some fouls. I was very pleasantly surprised to see that he had developed a good inside game and some strong rebounding skills. He showed he could play with the best big men in the country. My knock on Onuaku was that he was inconsistent, and would disappear for entire games, which is hard to do when you’re 6’9”, 260 lbs.” – yours truly at OrangeHoops

“I can't go with Ongenaet because as a JuCo transfer who had averaged a double-double for both his freshmen and sophomore seasons, I expected him to be able to contribute. To me, he was a major disappointment for most of the year, until he finally showed up. So, the winner here has to be Arinze Onuaku. We all knew he was promising, but to go from nothing to 13 points and 8 rebounds per game, virtually overnight, is astounding. We haven't had a center put up those kinds of numbers in almost a decade. I thought it
would take him until next year to be this kind of contributor.” – Syracusan, Cuse Country

Well, with Onuaku the runner up, the winner is probably obvious to most Syracuse fans. The Belgian wonder, Kristof Ongenaet earns the honors.

“If someone other than Kristof! wins this, every other blogger who voted in this thing should be banned from writing for a month.” – Brent, The Axeman

“The Belgian Waffle plays some of the best defense on the team and is just the kind of scrappy, hard working player that the Syracuse fan base loves. While he was not the biggest offensive threat, he certainly kept us in a few games with his rebounding, shot blocking, and stealing. For a JUCO transfer, this kid is a welcome addition to the Orange.” – Brian, Orange44

“Kristof Ongenaet: Injuries forced the Orange to use Ongenaet, and he played with heart. He did have 147 rebounds, which was fourth on the team. As a role player, Ongenaet did his job the best he could." -- Howie, Sports Night With Howie Mansfield

“KRISTOF! - He was "deer-in-the-headlights" before New Year's but showed a nice blend of hustle, responsibility, game smarts and a feel for the big moment late in the year.” – Nick, Nick's 2 Cents

“K-Ong. Preseason he figured to be this year's version of Matt Gorman circa 2003. The first month or so, every time he got on the court he looked like he'd just been dropped off in a strange, exotic land without any knowledge of the local language, customs, or topography. But by the end of the year he'd become a real contributor and (dare
I say it) glue guy. If Donte' leaves, he's got to be the frontrunner to start at power forward next season." – Josh, Cuse Country

“I fully expected Kristof! To be the next Bill Celuck. At times, he can be. But Kristof brought something to the team I never expected…emotion. For his dunk against Marquette alone he may have won this award for me but that was a culmination of his effect on the team all season.” – Sean, TNIAAM

Now KO has set up some big expectations from Orange fans for next year. Perhaps even a starting gig? I’m personally hoping to see more of his coast-to-coast jams.

My thanks and apologies to the rest of the SOB group, for missing my turn in the action. Sometimes life gets in the way, and the fun times get disrupted.

Back to TNIAAM for the closing ceremonies.

1 comment:

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