Wasn’t it supposed to be Paul Harris would was going to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated and be a first-round NBA
While Harris’ hoop dreams are by no means dead, it’s his once-and-again running mate from Niagara Falls who’s attracted the attention this spring from hoopheads nationwide.
Flynn was already held in fairly high regard throughout this season, but his ironman performance in the Big East tournament a few weeks turned a lot more heads across the country. He’s done nothing to tarnish his suddenly golden image of late, with many draftniks projecting Flynn as a mid-first round pick if he were to leave college after this season.
Published reports have Flynn quoted as saying he’s returning to Syracuse next year for his junior season. I hope to God, Buddah, Allah and everyone else holy that he does, because they could be the preseason No. 1 team next season. You’d have Flynn and Harris (who’ll be a senior next year) as well as Eric Devendor, Arinze Onuaku and Rick Jackson all returning – their entire starting lineup. Add in a couple promising rookies and transfers, and the way they’re playing late this season indicated that 2009-10 could be even more special.
But first, we should step back and enjoy this year’s Sweet Sixteen run, which is more special because of the Orange’s two-year absence from the NCAA tournament. They definitely could beat Oklahoma to make the Elite Eight, but even if not this year has exceeded expectations.
And Flynn’s largely to thank for that. Harris still might work his way onto an NBA roster some day, but Flynn has surpassed him as the class of Niagara Falls and the city’s best hope to see one of its native sons hit the big-time (imagine the fun that would be had on an excursion from the Falls to Toronto, whether he played for the Raptors or against them on his team’s trip there).
For a city desparately in need of something positive, Flynn (and Harris to a lesser extent) could provide just that. And Jonny, if you’re reading, you got me covered for Final Four tickets?