Saturday, October 27, 2018

Syracuse Basketball - Influx of International Players

The Syracuse Orange will have a school record six international players on the basketball team this season.  This will include four scholarship players with sophomore Oshae Brissett (Canada), senior Paschal Chukwu (Nigeria), sophomore Marek Dolezaj (Slovakia), and sophomore Bourama Sidibe (Mali), plus two walk on players with senior Ky Feldman (Israel) and senior Antonio Balandi (Burkina Faso).

Syracuse Basketball Oshae Brissett
Oshae Brissett
This breaks the previous school record of five, which was only last season 2017-2018, with the aforementioned players minus Balandi.

Previous to the recent history, the school record had been three international players, which occurred six times, starting with 1984-1985 (Joel Katz, George Papadokas, Rony Seikaly), 1995-1996 (Marius Janulis, Elvir Ovcina, David Patrick), 2007-2008 (Devin Brennan-McBride, Donte' Greene, Kristof Onganaet), 2010-2011 (Kris Joseph, Baye Moussa Keita, Fab Melo), 2011-2012 (Joseph, Keita, Melo), and 2015-2016 (Chukwu, Feldman and Chino Obokoh).

The game continues to be more international and so it really should be no surprise to the increased influx of players with international backgrounds. 

Back in 2015, I had named my Syracuse all-international team. With the influx of talent the past couple of seasons, I may revise it as follows, moving Brissett onto my first team:

PG Tyler Ennis
SG Kueth Duany
SF Leo Rautins
PF Oshae Brissett
C  Rony Seikaly

G  Marius Janulis
F  Donte' Greene
C  Fab Melo
C  Baye Moussa Keita
F  Kris Joseph

Dolezaj and Chukwu are knocking on the door.  A solid season from Chuckwu would likely supplant him for Keita.  I don't think Dolezaj could move into the list this year, but as he is only a sophomore, I expect big things down the road could make the difference.

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