As one of the many first year blogs to join the Syracuse corner of the interwebs this past year, it is only fitting that a rookie present the SOB for “Best Freshman”. The winner of this year’s Best Freshman award will be following 2007 winner Paul Harris and 2008 winner Jonny Flynn (and by following, I don’t mean heading to the NBA Draft. I hope).
Here were this year’s nominees:
MOOKIE JONES: Mookie is a 6-6 small forward from Peekskill who didn’t get much playing time on a deep Syracuse team this season. Jones appeared in nine games, the last of which was the January 7th game against DePaul. His season was cut short by a hip injury that required surgery in February and will seek a medical redshirt for this past season (meaning he can become the first ever two-time S.O.B. nominee for Best Freshman!). He averaged 4.1 points in 9.9 minutes per contest, including season highs of 21 minutes and 9 points against Colgate.
KRIS JOSEPH: Joseph, or Kris-Jo as he calls himself, is a 6-7 forward who came to Syracuse from Montreal via Archbishop Carroll in Washington D.C. Joseph saw the most action of any freshman, appearing in 34 of Syracuse’s 38 games. Joseph’s best game was against Florida in the C.B.E. Classic in Kansas City- playing 26 minutes and finishing with 10 points and 5 rebounds against the Gators. He was also brought in as a center in the epic 6-OT game against UConn after sitting on the bench for nearly 3 hours.
BRANDON REESE: Reese is a 5-11 walk-on guard from Davie, FL who appeared in 16 games. His season highlight was playing in front of his family and friends in the first round of the NCAA tournament against Stephen F. Austin which was played in Miami.
With how the season played out there was very little debate. On to the results:
Ray Biggs from SWRLU:
“Kris Joseph, There is no argument here when comparing him to Crybaby Jones. “
Daniel from SWRLU:
“Kris Joseph. I love Mookie but obviously he was hurt, and Kris was the only one who contributed that much this year.”
Alex O from SWRLU2:
“Kris Joseph. He definitely showed some flashes this year. Once he gets some more experience this kid is going to be good.”
Jameson from Bleacher Report:
“Kris Joseph. It’s very tempting to put Brandon Reese with late game mop-up time heroics, but Joseph is the only freshman that had an impact.”
Damon Amendolara from Orange Fizz:
“Kris Joseph for his work in the 5th and 6th OTs vs. UConn! That’s eight minutes of brilliance.”
Matt Glaude from HoyaSuxa:
“Kris Joseph, and by a large margin. How do you not vote for a guy that spurned a Georgetown offer to sign with Syracuse? Also, we can already give the 2010 “Best Freshman” S.O.B. to DaShonte Riley for following in Joseph’s anti-Hoya footsteps.”
Me from right here:
“Mookie Jones only played in 9 games, so I would have to say Kris Joseph, who now looks like he will get some real playing time next season.”
Nick Loucks from Nick’s 2 Cents:
“Kris Joseph by default. He had 10 points in the early win vs Florida and provided some fun minutes at center in the 6OT win. It’s too bad that he was pretty much “Deer-in-the-headlights” vs Big East teams in between that though.”
Danny Carberry from The Sport Hump:
“Although my heart tells me Brandon Reese, my gut tells me Kris Joseph. He scored 14 points against Oakland. The Michigan Oakland.”
Andrew Rush from Three Idiots:
“Not much of a choice here, we’ll go with Kris Joseph, although the walk-ons gave him a run.”
Brian Harrison from Orange44:
“Kris Joseph seemed like he was the only freshman that contributed positively. He provided occasional spark off the bench and was a good team player. Not too many kids to pick from in this category though. But hey, he was on the floor during that UConn game in the BET.”
Sean Keeley from TNIAAM:
“Kris Joseph was the only freshman who put in any notable time this season so it’s his by default. Decent bench player this season who should develop into a good role player for the Orange.”
So there you have it. The UNANIMOUS winner of the 2009 SOB for Best Freshman goes to Canada’s own Kris Joseph (over under on how long until Doc Gross claims Canada as part of the “Orange Empire”: 2.5 days). While it wasn’t a deep class of freshman this season, Joseph should be a key reserve next year, most likely as the first forward off the bench.