You know, a few years ago I may have called this the Kevin Braswell All-Stars, or the Carl Krauser All-Stars. Hell, non-Syracuse fans may have referred to it as the Gerry McNamara All-Stars. Every year as we settle in for college hoops, a few names pop up and, without fail, you find yourself asking, “Wait, he’s still in college!?”
With Kansas finally having lost Perry Ellis, who was on the first Kansas team to be coached by Dr. James Naismith if I understand correctly, it’s time to look ahead to the 2016-17 season. Who will rise up and take Perry’s place as the guy we’re all the most baffled to see in a college uniform as opposed to struggle to walk without a cane? Let’s meet this year’s Perry Ellis All-Stars!
Dylan Ennis – G, Oregon
It’s Tyler Ennis’s birthday today, so it seems only fitting that we start with his older brother. Yes, I did say “older” brother. Now, to be fair, Dylan Ennis is still in college because he got a medical waiver granting him a sixth season. But just keep his in mind: in addition to Tyler turning 22 today, it should be noted that Tyler’s freshman season coincided with Dylan’s third year of college.
That’s right: Dylan Ennis was academically a junior when Tyler Ennis was running the point for the Orange. Dylan was only in his second year of eligibility, having transferred to Villanova and then sitting out during his academic sophomore year. But the point remains: Dylan Ennis is the elder statesman of college basketball, and I put strong emphasis on eld.
Nigel Hayes – F, Wisconsin
I’m going to be honest, this is the captain of this team for me. I’m absolutely flabbergasted to learn that Nigel Hayes hasn’t used up his eligibility by now, and he doesn’t even have the whole “transfer” crutch to lean on like Dylan Ennis. Hayes first really got into the public consciousness during Wisconsin’s Final Four run a couple years back, when he was caught by a live microphone talking about how beautiful the stenographer was.
Now, finally, Hayes is a senior. The 6-foot-8 forward isn’t even old for his academic year or anything, either – he doesn’t turn 22 until December. After averaging 15.7 points and 5.8 rebounds per game last year, my top choice to take over Perry Ellis’s spot as this All-Star team’s unofficial captain decided to return to the Badgers for one more year.
Nigel Williams-Goss – G, Gonzaga
Now like Dylan Ennis, it’s a transfer that makes it feel like Nigel Williams-Goss has been in college forever. The 6-foot-3 point guard left Washington for Gonzaga, and sat out last year thanks to the NCAA mandate that says players need to be punished for switching schools, while coaches should get hefty pay increases for doing the same.
The fact that Williams-Goss came out of the same recruiting class that produced players like Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, and Aaron Gordon, among others, probably skews our view of just how old he is. After all, those guys have all been in the NBA for a little bit now, while other McDonald’s All-Americans from that year like Cat Barber and Demetrius Jackson both just exhausted their eligibility last season.
London Perrantes – G, Virginia
Ah, it’s our old friend, Mr. Smell-My-Fingers. As a Syracuse fan, you know him. He’s the guy Michael Gbinije consoled after Malachi Richardson abused the Hoos in the second half to lift Syracuse to the Final Four this past spring. Virginia always seems to have guys who stick around forever. Because, well, that’s exactly what guys who play at UVA do.
Virginia doesn’t attract many McDonald’s All-Americans or other guys who leave after a year or two. Instead, they load up their roster with system guys who stick around four years, so every year when March rolls around, they come across like your dad’s rec league team. Everyone on the roster has been getting junk mail from AARP for the last couple years. Perrantes just stands out because, honestly, he seems like kind of a dick.
Monte Morris – G, Iowa State
Seriously, how is Monte Morris still in college? Like Perrantes and Hayes, he can’t blame it on any injuries or transfers. Hell, he’s actually really young for his class. He won’t be 22 until next summer. Yet somehow, it feels like he’s been hooping it up in the cornfields of Iowa for about a decade. It’s kind of like what happened with McNamara: when you’re good right from the start, it winds up feeling like you’ve been around longer than you have.
Morris heads into his senior season as one of the best point guards in the country, which no doubt comes from having seemingly spent about half of his life in a Cyclones uniform. The Flint, Michigan native averaged 13.8 points and 6.9 assists per game last year and was a second team All-Big 12 selection. Even better: this season, he might be able to get the senior discount at Golden Corral!
Amile Jefferson – F, Duke
Like Dylan Ennis, Jefferson is back at Duke after receiving a medical hardship waiver. He played in the 2012 McDonald’s All-America game with none other than Perry Ellis himself. Jefferson was averaging 11.4 points per game last year before sustaining his season ending injury, and has been a consistent presences in Duke’s rotation from the start. He’s never averaged fewer than 12.7 minutes per game, which happened his freshman year.
The Philadelphia native will be turning 24 before next year’s NBA Draft, which puts him as being older than basically everyone taken in last year’s draft. I admit, I haven’t looked at the ages of everyone picked, but you’ll recall one of the prime reasons Michael Gbinije slipped so far was because he was an ancient 23-years-old.
And that’s it. There’s no one else who’s seemingly been around college hoops forever. Nope. No one we could talk about a little closer to home. Absolutely not. There’s…
Oh, fine. There’s one more member of this All-Star team.
Dajuan Coleman – C, Syracuse
The former McDonald’s All-American has a long history of injuries big and small that, if you’re reading this website, I don’t need to go over. Coleman is going to turn 24 before this season even starts, if you want an idea of what an old-timer he is compared to the relative youth of even guys like Hayes and Morris.
Coleman really needs to be on this list because one of his teammates at the McDonald’s All-America game was Perry Ellis. Yep – Coleman played in the same game that not only produced Amile Jefferson, but also this All-Star team’s namesake.
We love you, Dajuan. But holy cow, to outsiders, it must feel like you’ve been at Syracuse forever.