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Syracuse basketball links: Catching up with Eric Devendorf on Astini News

Former Syracuse basketball player Eric Devendorf was able to make some noise on the court in the final few weeks of the NBA Development League season. Just as important, he was able to keep things quiet off the court.

Devendorf played with the Idaho Stampede and the Reno Bighorns this season in the D-League. He averaged 10.3 points in 17.9 minutes per game for the season, but caught fire as the season came to a close. Devendorf scored more than 20 points in each of the Bighorns' final five games of the season.

Bighorns coach Paul Mokeski told writer Lee Thompson, of MLive, that Devendorf "gave us exactly what we needed. We were hoping he would grow into that role and, truthfully, he exceeded our expectations the last couple weeks. He became our second or third option, which is pretty rare coming off the bench."

Just as important, though, was having a smooth season off the court. Here's an excerpt from Thompson's story:

Devendorf, who was traded midseason from the Idaho Stampede to the Bighorns, said it was equally vital to his career that he was considered a positive presence. Hampered by a series of off-court issues throughout his career, he said he wanted to prove he could conduct himself like a professional in all phases of his life.

"I needed to show that I could go through a season without any trouble on or off the court. I had to show that I'm a good guy," said Devendorf, who turns 25 on April 21. "And I had to show that, even if I wasn't getting much playing time, that I was keeping a positive attitude."

Mokeski said he liked what he saw from Devendorf – classifying him as a hard-nosed, high-energy player -- and would be glad to have him back on the team next season.

"A lot of guys in our league have reputation problems, whether it's off the court or on the court," Mokeski said. "They can be pigeon-holed because of stuff that happened in the past. But as long as you learn from it and grow from it, you're heading in the right direction. And he did a great job of that.

"He got the distractions out of his life and focused on his craft."

Devendorf said his next move is likely to be a stint playing overseas before trying to land a spot on an NBA Summer League roster.

Read the full article: Eric Devendorf develops into true professional in NBA D-League

Devendorf also recently talked to Slam Magazine about his high school days, his recruitment to Syracuse, the Orange's 2006 run through the Big East Tournament and his time in the D-League.

Below is an excerpt, where he talks about Syracuse's move to the Atlantic Coast Conference and his reasons for leaving Syracuse University:

SLAM: Seeing as how the conferences will be realigned and Syracuse will be moving to the ACC, what are your thoughts on that? The tradition and rivalries of Villanova, Georgetown, will be things of the past.

ED: You know, it's really disappointing because, for Syracuse fans, there are no more Big East tournaments in Madison Square Garden, and, in my opinion, it is the best tournament in college basketball so you lose that right there. From another standpoint, the competition level will be outstanding in the ACC. It's a money move obviously, and I guess money talks.

SLAM: On your junior year, you averaged close to 16 ppg and was considered one of the top players in college ball. Despite having another year of eligibility, you opted to go to the NBA. What were some of the deciding factors to leave school early?

ED: I think a lot of the reason the choice was made was that I had two little girls, and maybe it was a little bit too early to enter the Draft for me—maybe I should've stayed—but at that time I was just thinking about my family. No regrets, just a different road to get to the level that I would like to be at. It's fun out here grinding and meeting a lot of good people along the way. So I am meeting a lot of good people either overseas or here in the D-League. So I will continue to keep working hard.

Read the full article: Q+A: Eric Devendorf; catching up with the former SLAM high school diarist

» Friday Night Feature: Dream driven, Eric Devendorf []

More Syracuse links:

» Rethinking college basketball's coach of the year []

» NCAA again tackles academic reform []

SU hoops on

» Rick Jackson's season in France cut short due to ruptured Achilles

» Big East expected to alter tournament format slightly

» Syracuse is a 3-seed in ESPN's early Bracketology

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