Thursday, June 16, 2011

DaShonte Riley Follows Rob Murphy Home

Syracuse University basketball took two body blows in the last month when assistant coach Rob Murphy and 7-foot center DaShonte Riley departed for Eastern Michigan University. This will also be the last time that either of those two names get mentioned again, for they have relegated themselves to college basketball obscurity. For Murphy, he had put in his 7 years as an assistant to Jim Boeheim and wanted to take a head coaching job in his native Detroit. For the rehabbing Riley, he will have to sit out this upcoming season due to NCAA transfer rules. This will mean two consecutive years without playing competitive basketball (he injured his knee last year and did not play).

As for the impact this will have on Syracuse Orange basketball, Riley and Murphy's departure puts more pressure on the big-man incumbents Fab Melo and Baye Moussa Keita. For Melo, he has to survive his court date for a driving incident earlier this year. If Billy Edelin, Gerry McNamara, and Eric Devendorf were given multiple chances by the Syracuse court system, then Melo will get the same. Additionally, newcomer Rakeem Christmas will have to provide Rick Jackson-esque defense on the back line of the Syracuse zone.

Overall, the two departures don't hurt initially, but if there are injuries sustained throughout the 2011-2012 fight, the body blows may add up to a knockout of the SU basketball season.

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