By Waterboy Sam Meyerkopf
A crew of former Syracuse hoops stars and role players are droppin’ dimes and swishin’ J’s across Europe. While it may not be the same as balling in a packed Carrier Dome, these guys are getting paid to do what they love on the old continent. They’re hooping in at least five countries, with a few guaranteed head-to-head alumni matchups.
Nichols has reached the Euro basketball mountaintop by signing with CSKA Moscow. They pay the biggest salaries and are a Euroleague title contender every year. He’ll be one of the easiest players to find game footage of as all his VTB (Russian) league games are on their website and all Euroleague games are on LiveBasketball.tv.
Rautins is a perfect fit for Euro Ball with his ability to play both guard positions, his savvy passing, smart defense, and of course the knockdown jump shot.
Whatever he does, you gotta love how juiced up his coach gets after wins!
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After winning the championship in Italy’s second division last year, Triche got the bump up to the first division. Running point for one of the most historic teams in Italy is a great accomplishment this early in his Euro career. In his first EuroCup game this week he blew up for 26 points, six rebounds, five assists, three steals, his team won by 29, and he was named EuroCup Player of the Week! Talk about a debut.
The former 6th overall pick in the NBA draft has landed in Europe after running around in Australia and China. Flynn is on a mid to lower level Italian team but he’ll be runnin’ the show for this squad. A duel of Syracuse PG’s between Flynn and Triche on October 26 will be must watch for fans of the Orange!
Devendorf was in Israel and New Zealand 2nd Divisions last year. It looked like he’d gotten his act together professionally but then failed his physical with this squad. Devo’s getting a real taste of basketball journeymanism now. We’ll see how this story ends.
In the Cuse-filled France, Harris had a great season last year for SLUC Nancy and earned a big contract in Turkey. Harris is a unique matchup because of his crazy strength and ability to play inside and out. Sadly though, he’s rocking the clean-cut look now, no more braids.
One French Fan even made him his own Highlight Hall Of Fame!
Southerland just signed, as in like two days ago, to the French Champion. Not only is Southerland playing on one of the best teams in France, but Limoges is also in the Euroleague. Limoges also has one of the best team Youtube channels in Europe with incredible game recaps, making Southerland very easy to follow.
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Joseph is starting his second year in France, just on a different team. Similar to when he suited up for the Orange, the question with Joseph is how active will he be? He’ll need to be if he wants to continue to progress in his pro career.
Jardine went to Croatia for a couple weeks last year and just wasn’t ready to contribute to a decent European team yet. Rumor was he had signed in Austria, one the lower level leagues in Europe, but through three games he hasn’t appeared in any box scores.
Watkins’ team will struggle to stay in Playoff contention but if he can block shots and finish at the rim offensively, it will provide a huge lift.
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Orange vs. Orange: Early-Season Euro Matchups
10/26: Capo D’Orlando (Flynn) vs. Roma (Triche)
11/8: Dijon (Joseph) vs. Chalons-Reims (Watkins)
11/14: Limoges (Southerland) vs. CSKA Moscow (Nichols) *Euroleague Game
11/15: Dijon (Joseph) vs. Limoges (Southerland)
11/16: Roma (Triche) vs. Varese (Rautins)
12/13: Chalons-Reims (Watkins) vs. Limoges (Southerland)
12/18: CSKA Moscow (Nichols) vs. Limoges (Southerland) *Euroleague Game
12/29: Capo D’Orlando (Flynn) vs. Varese (Rautins)