Thursday, June 25, 2009

Flynn Goes Sixth in NBA Draft

Congratulations to Jonny Flynn, who became the 52nd Syracuse Orange basketball player to be drafted by the NBA. Flynn was the 6th overall player taken tonight when the Minnesota Timberwolves took him in the first round.

Flynn is the highest drafted player from Syracuse since Carmelo Anthony was drafted as the third overall player in the 2003 NBA Draft. Derrick Coleman holds the distinction of being the only Orangeman drafted with the top pick of the draft, when the New Jersey Nets took him in 2003. Flynn is the 15th Orangeman taken in the first round of the draft.

Flynn also earns the distinction of being the second highest drafted guard in Syracuse history. Dave Bing went to Detroit with the second overall pick in 1966.

Dave Bing 2nd (1966)
Pearl Washington 13th (1986)
Jack Kiley 13th (1951)
Sherman Douglas 28th (1989)
Dennis Duval 30th (1974)
Lawrence Moten 36th (1995)
Jason Hart 49th (2000)
Erich Santifer 55th (1983)
Jimmy Lee 79th (1975)
Greg Kohls 99th (1972)
Eddie Moss 50th (1981)
Marty Headd 198th (1981)

There’s some notable names on that list, especially Washington and Douglas. Of course, success in college does not necessarily translate to success in the NBA, and draft picks often reflect what NBA coaches think of that potential, but still it is very high accolade for Flynn to be sixth overall.

Despite the fact that Syracuse had some ‘down’ years in the mid 2000s, the NBA draft still liked the Orange. This decade saw the following:

Etan Thomas 12th (2000)
Jason Hart 49th (2000)
Damone Brown 44th (2001)
Carmelo Anthony 3rd (2003)
Hakim Warrick 19th (2005)
Demetris Nichols 53rd (2007)
Donte’ Green 28th (2008
Jonny Flynn 6th (2009)

The number of players drafted from 2000-2009 may not jump out at you, but look at the number of Syracuse players drafted in the first two rounds, for each decade:

1950s – 1 player
1960s – 1 player
1970s – 3 players
1980s – 8 players
1990s – 7 players
2000s – 8 players

If we narrow that to just the first round:
1950s – None
1960s – 1 player
1970s – 1 player
1980s – 4 players
1990s – 5 players
2000s – 4 players

So the 2000s are looking very kindly, from an historical perspective to the Orange who have been drafted.

Now, if we look at the period of 1986-1996, what are really the ‘glory days’ of the Boeheim era, the numbers do change a little bit. There were 11 players drafted in the first two rounds during that period, including seven in the first round, and Coleman as the number one pick overall. Other college teams can boast bigger numbers (Duke once had five first round picks in one year), but from an Orange perspective that was the best era.

But back to Flynn. Congratulations, and best of luck in the NBA.