Tag:Dion Waiters
Posted on: October 17, 2011 12:35 pm
Edited on: October 17, 2011 8:34 pm

Waiters hungry for redemption this season

By Jeff Borzello

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Dion Waiters entered his freshman season at Syracuse with plenty of hype, ranked as a top-25 recruit by many outlets.

However, much of the news surrounding him during the season was negative. There were reports of him being dismissed from the team in January and rampant rumors regarding him potentially transferring after the season.

Going into his sophomore campaign, though, Waiters is still in an Orange uniform and could be one of the keys to the season for a top-five Syracuse team.

“Dion has his head right,” senior guard Scoop Jardine said.

Although Waiters denied most of the rumors during the offseason, he admitted to CBSSports.com last week that the idea of leaving Syracuse did cross his mind.

“I was thinking about it,” he said. “I’m a competitor and I wanted to start. That’s what it was.”

Last season, the 6-foot-4 guard from Philadelphia averaged 6.3 points in 16.3 minutes off the bench. He did not start a single game, and was held out of a late-January loss to Marquette.

With Jardine and Brandon Triche both returning as starters in the backcourt, is Waiters ready to take a back seat to the two veterans again?

“It’s not about me this year,” he said. “Last year, I put myself before the team. I was selfish.”

Waiters said he spent off the season working on his fitness and athleticism; his explosive scoring ability is still there too. Coming out of high school, Waiters was one of the best scoring guards in the country – he has a chance to provide a consistent spark off the Syracuse bench this year.

“I think he can play a bigger role,” freshman guard Mike Carter-Williams said. “He’s a great player.”

Humbled by the events of last spring, Waiters is hungry to help the Orange get to the Final Four.

“I feel like a freshman again,” he said. “Watch out.”

Photo: US Presswire

Posted on: October 14, 2011 11:10 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2011 12:15 pm

There's no 'Melo, but Orange pack plenty of punch

By Jeff Borzello 

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – There’s no question who the center of attention was at Syracuse’s Midnight Madness.

Despite not doing much of anything for the two hours of festivities, the presence of Carmelo Anthony lifted the energy in the building to a level most onlookers had not seen in awhile.

Heading into the season, there’s obviously no Carmelo Anthony on this year’s Orange team. There’s not a Donte Greene or a Jonny Flynn. Simply put, there’s no definitive go-to-guy that will have the ball in his hands down the stretch of games.

Season tips Nov. 7

And head coach Jim Boeheim’s just fine with that.

“I think if you only have one guy, that’s a weakness,” Boeheim said at Syracuse’s Media Day.

“Even when Carmelo was here, Gerry [McNamara] made as many big plays as he did. Hakim Warrick made some plays, Josh Pace made big plays. The important thing is to have balance.”

A season ago, Scoop Jardine, Kris Joseph and Brandon Triche all took their fair share of shots at the end of the shot clock or game clock. Fab Melo made clutch baskets against St. John’s. With C.J. Fair and Dion Waiters ready to take on bigger roles, there are countless options for Boeheim late in games.

“I haven’t seen that since my freshman year, with Jonny Flynn,” Joseph said of having one consistent go-to-guy. “Last year, the ball was pretty well-spread, points per game were really even. It’s going to be the same, with so many guys that can score. I can do it, Scoop can do it, Brandon can do it.”

By the time March rolls around, if the biggest problem Syracuse faces is having too many offensive options, I’m betting they will be in pretty good shape.

It's a problem most teams would love to have. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com