For Bucks Players, Syracuse's Final Four Brings Back Memories of Greatness


Like them or not, the Syracuse Orange Cinderella story lives on as the 10 seed defeated 1 seed Virginia on Sunday.  For two Bucks players, Michael Carter-Williams and Tyler Ennis, the win brings back memories of when they played for the Orange, not only wreaking havoc on my Marquette Golden Eagles, but leading a good basketball team.

We start with Tyler Ennis, who is in his second season with Milwaukee.  Ennis attended Syracuse from 2013-2014 and declared for the NBA Draft that year, making him a one and done college player.  The Orange had a great season, coming in to the tournament as a 3 seed.  However, the Orange were upset by 11 seed Dayton in the second round, and unfortunately for Ennis, that would be it.

At Syracuse, Ennis put up 12.9 PPG and 5.5 APG, which won't set records, but was enough to make Syracuse have a successful regular season.  He shot a pretty standard 41% from the field, which if you watch college ball, is a pretty good percentage.  Ennis would be a first round draft pick, more specifically, the 18th overall to the Phoenix Suns.  The Bucks acquired Ennis (along with Miles Plumlee) from the Phoenix Suns in the 2014-15 NBA season in the same trade that sent away Brandon Knight and brought Michael Carter-Williams here.  With MCW hurt this season, Ennis is getting more minutes and improving his game slowly but surely.

Michael Carter-Williams played two seasons at Syracuse: the 2011-12 and 2012-13 season.  In his first year, he only played 26 games and in those, only 10.3 minutes.  The Orange that season however went on to become the 1 seed in the tournament, ultimately losing to Ohio State in the Elite Eight.  

His second season is what got him drafted at all.

MCW in that second season had 11.9 PPG, but dished the ball beautifully, racking up 7.3 APG, and as a nice bonus, had 2.7 steals.  The Orange went on to reach the Final Four that year lead by MCW, but fell to my other college team, the Michigan Wolverines.  

MCW was drafted 11th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers, and was traded to Milwaukee along with Ennis and Plumlee.  While I personally disagree with the trade, it is impossible to deny that MCW was a star in college.

 Despite the lack of success for the Bucks this NBA season, it's nice to see MCW and Tyler Ennis being so happy and supportive of their alma mater, as shown by Instagram posts and tweets.  


*Stats from

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