It is time to put an end to this discussion. A former colleague of mine, Dave St. John was born and raised in Syracuse, New York, and is of course a die hard Syracuse basketball fan. Nothing wrong with that, glad he supports his hometown team. The only thing he doesn’t understand is that Duke University not only produces better NBA players, but runs a better program as well. If you cannot tell by now, I am a Duke fan myself. Why you ask? Duke is only 14 hours away from Buffalo. Well there was a Buffalonian on a certain Duke squad back in 1992, and on my 4th birthday party, Christian Laettner hit the game winning shot against Kentucky in the NCAA tournament. It was only meant to be.
So where should I begin? Lets start in the NBA. Syracuse has produced 39 NBA players and the most notable player is Carmelo Anthony who left Syracuse after leading the Orange to a National Championship during his one year there. The only other notable player who attended Syracuse is Hall of Famer Dave Bing, who played in the league from 1967-1978. Currently in the NBA, Syracuse has four alum along with Carmelo (Dion Waiters, Hakim Warrick, Fab Melo and Wesley Johnson). And no Andy Rautins, the NBA-D league does not count. Fab Melo just played in his second career NBA game last night after playing 19 in the D league. Carmelo is a superstar, but has nothing to show for it. Instead he gets coaches fired, and can’t help his team advance in the playoffs.
Duke on the other hand has produced 57 players in the NBA, with currently 19 of them in the league. That is right, 19. Sure none of them compare to Carmelo, but Kyrie Irving sure is making a name for himself in Cleveland as one of the young stars in the game. Don’t forget that Shane Battier won a ring last summer with the Heat, which gives him one more ring than Carmelo. Duke has produced players such as JJ Reddick, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, and Austin Rivers to name a few. I would love to see the five from Syracuse take on Irving, Deng, Reddick, Carlos Boozer, and Miles Plumlee. The Duke squad would win by 15 points….easily.
Enough with the NBA talk, lets move back to the college game. With these two historic programs, we have two of the greatest college coaches of all time in Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim. Coach K has 947 wins, along with 13 ACC tourney championships, and 4 National Titles. Coach Boeheim, who joined coach K in the 900 win club this year, has 909 career wins to go along with just 5 Big East tourney championships, and just one National Championship. Coach K, and coach Boeheim both have two gold medals which they won together in 2008 and 2012, the only difference is, is that coach K was the head coach, and Boeheim just one of the assistants. Don’t tell me they are both deserving, because only one got the head coaching gig.
Another difference between the program is that Duke runs a clean one, and Syracuse not so much. For christ sake, Jim Boeheim hid a pedophile in Bernie Fine. You don’t see any of that kind of stuff with Coach K’s staff. Syracuse has players such as James Southerland suspended indefinitely because of academic purposes. You barely ever see that at Duke. When will Boeheim control his players? Fab Melo got in trouble after he was arrained in court after an incident when he became physical with his girlfriend and broke one of her tail lights. At Duke there are no such issues.
So the point of this post, if you have a son who is considering playing basketball at one of these schools, which you probably don’t, you might want to send them to Duke over Syracuse.