Fair to return for senior year

Fair announces he will return for his senior year instead of declaring for the NBA draft.

It looks like the Syracuse basketball team won’t be losing a fourth starter to graduation and the NBA. CJ Fair decided Wednesday to stay for his senior year at Syracuse, according to SU Athletics.

“After talking it over with my family and my coaches, I decided another year at Syracuse was best for me,” said Fair. “I'm excited about working hard with my teammates to put together another great season and graduating has also been a goal of mine.”

A 6-foot-8 combo forward, Fair, who is a native of Baltimore, MD and a Brewster Academy product, weighed the decision of entering the NBA draft himself, after he spent this past season establishing himself as one of the best mid-range shooters in the NCAA. Fair originally wanted to declare for the draft, but wanted to make sure he was picked in the first round, since those players have guaranteed money. Fair received word from league scouts – through the Syracuse coaching staff – that he projected as a mid-second round pick, not a first round pick.

“C.J. Fair is a great character student-athlete who is on track to graduate, and obviously a tremendous player,” said director of athletics Dr. Daryl Gross. “We look forward to him leading our team as we enter the ACC. We all feel that his senior season will be remarkable.”

Down the stretch, junior CJ Fair proved to be the Syracuse Orange men's basketball team's most consistent, reliable, and overall valuable assets to the team. His importance to the team grew exponentially over the season and has skyrocketed since the season ended, which meant the loss of seniors Brandon Triche and James Southerland. Shortly thereafter, sophomore guard Michael Carter-Williams announced his departure for the NBA draft.

Fair led the Orange with 14.5 points-per-game and 7.0 rebounds-per-game last season to go along with a nearly identical field goal and three pointer percentages (47.0 % and 46.9 %, respectively). His return will bolster a young team that includes the underperforming Trevor Cooney, DaJuan Coleman and Jerami Grant, all of whom will be sophomores next season. With both guards from the 2012 season departing, the Orange will look for Fair to play an even larger scoring role, as the Orange will turn to top prospect Tyler Ennis, Cooney and Duke transfer Michael Gbinje for their offense.

“This is great news for our basketball program and for C.J.,” said Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim. “I believe he's just going to keep getting better and better as a basketball player and earning his degree is important.” 

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