Jul 8, 2012, 5:00 PM EDT
Syracuse won 34 games and a regular season Big East title last season, but it fell short of the Final Four with a loss to Ohio State in the Elite 8.
With three of their top four scorers (not to mention center Fab Melo) moving on, the Orange will need some players to make the transition from role player to major contributor.
One of those will be junior forward C.J. Fair, who along with new Cleveland Cavalier Dion Waiters was Syracuse’s most consistent option off the bench last season.
The Baltimore native may not have started many games but with an average of 26.4 minutes per contest Fair was one of Syracuse’s most important players.
The question now: can he slide into the starring role opened up by the departure of starting wing Kris Joseph?
“Yes I’ve moved up to the wing,” said Fair in an interview with NBCSports.com on Saturday afternoon. “Coach [Jim Boeheim] expects a lot out of me this season, and I think I’m ready for that challenge.”
Fair’s already a rather versatile player when it comes to what he’s able to do on the floor.
But his junior campaign will bring along the expanded responsibilities (and opportunities) that weren’t there with the likes of Joseph, Waiters, Scoop Jardine and Brandon Triche working on the perimeter.
“The camps have helped me out a lot, especially the Kevin Durant camp,” said Fair. “I learned more about how to get open there, which is important now that I’ll be a focus of the scouting report.”
In two seasons at Syracuse, Fair has shot 49.3% from the field but the three-point percentage of 25.9% is something that he’s working on improving this summer along with his handle.
He’ll get more chances to score, and the workouts and camps this summer will go a long way in making sure that he’s capable of taking advantage.
Fair will also replace Joseph in another department, as he and sophomore guard Michael Carter-Williams (“The Mike and C.J. Show”) will take over what was the Syracuse Post-Standard’s “Scoop and Kris Show.”
Syracuse fans hope that the adjustments will happen without any difficulties, and given Fair’s talent there should be little doubt as to whether or not he’s up to the task.
- Cody Zeller, Indiana president speak out against recent athlete legal issues 0
- Five-star 2016 combo guard cuts list to four 0
- Xavier, Mount St. Joseph to launch the ‘Lauren Hill Tip-Off Classic’ 0
- Tai Wynyard: ‘I will be coming to UK in December’ 0
- Tom Izzo, 30 second shot clocks, and why zone presses will be more popular this year 1
- Kentucky lands a commitment from four-star 2016 forward 0
- Everything you need to know about the College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon 0
- Bill Self says Cheick Diallo could wait ‘at least another month’ for eligibility ruling (12)
- Winona State coach Mike Leaf resigned after player accused him of making drunken sexual advances (6)
- Blue Ribbon announces their preseason all-american team (3)
- Tulsa gets 2016 commitment from former Wichita State guard (2)
- Here’s what the new Illinois basketball court will look like (PHOTO) (2)