Kris Joseph says he'll be back next season to try and erase the disappointment of an early exit in the NCAA tournament.
The 6-7 junior wing from Cote-des-Neiges made the announcement following Syracuse's 66-62 second-round loss to conference foe Marquette.
When asked what he could improve in the offseason, he replied: "work hard, be a senior leader." He went on to say he would "lead these guys, just like Rick (Jackson) did. I'm looking forward to next year's season already."
NBA draft boards had Joseph projected as high as a mid first-round pick in January, though he had slipped into the second round by season's end, according to some forecasts.
Joseph, meanwhile, avoided the draft talk, preferring instead to talk about the current season and the challenges of being the go-to guy after two years as a supporting player.
He improved his numbers across the board, leading Syracuse in scoring at 14.3 points per game and placing second in rebounding (5.2) and steals (1.5). He was named to the All-Big East third team, the first Canadian to receive the honour in more than 25 years.
The return of Joseph and fellow junior Scoop Jardine will make Syracuse a dangerous team next season, but they'll be lacking in experience up front.
Jackson is leaving, and returnees Baye Moussa Keita, Fab Melo and Dashonte Riley are big but untested.
Incoming McDonald's All-American Rakeem Christmas is super-athletic and long, and if the young bigs can contribute then Joseph will have plenty of talent to lead back to the tournament.

Post date - March 22, 2011


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