Sunday, December 28, 2008

CIS Corner: Wright on, we have a controversy

The questions about former Syracuse point guard Josh Wright (pictured) playing for Ottawa are swirling like snowflakes.

One can only wonder what led to Wright, who's a year out from an unceremonious departure from The 'Cuse and four months removed from an arrest in connection with a theft, playing for Ottawa. The former starter for the Orange played for the Gee-Gees for the first time today, scoring 20 points in 21 minutes in an 82-67 win over Saskatchewan at the Wesmen Classic in Winnipeg.

Ottawa coach Dave DeAveiro presumably knows what he's doing though, and is savvy enough to know bringing in a NCAA transfer who's got some baggage is bound to start some squawking, especially when you share a city with the Carleton Ravens, who are deified not just for winning, but how they win — solid, team basketball — and with whom — players mostly from Eastern Ontario.

Wright, who played three seasons at Syracuse, was a much-ballyhooed recruit out of Utica, a city which has seen better days. Long story short, he never lived up to the massive expectations that were placed on him and with the 'Cuse in its post-Carmelo Anthony malaise, he became a bit of a whipping boy among the fans and media.

The fair way to handle this is to reserve judgment and presume it's all on the up and up. There is something to be said for second chances. Division 1 basketball players in the NCAA are among the most exploited athletes in North America. A lot of them are coming from a very far-off place that most of us should be glad we can't relate to, so heaping scorn on them when they screw up is a bit high-handed.

DeAveiro has worked with Canada Basketball the past few summers and, as you know, national team coach Leo Rautins' son, Andy, is a guard at Syracuse. There might have been some connection there. From a pure basketball standpoint, Wright makes a youngish, thinnish Gee-Gees team significantly better and he provides a second scoring guard to play off Josh Gibson-Bascombe.

(Cross-posted to


Anonymous said...

First football and now basketball, plus a Brazilian transfer in volleyball come January. uOttawa seems to be making it a policy to find experienced players through transfers and get them to Ottawa.
I expect we are going to see that policy continue in football in 2009 as well.


Anonymous said...

Recruiting 101 -
Course Instructor: Prof. Jerry Hemmings

Now we can see what Dave DeAveiro did with his summer.