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Why the Open Seat Should Be Filled by Blackwell

Posted on March 14, 2023 at 6:35 PM

  Article by Dan Tortora


  Covering Syracuse Orange athletics has been a special journey for me.

  I was born in Syracuse, New York, not even 10 minutes from campus.

  I grew up here.


  My family on both sides dug deep roots that go back generations here in the Central and Upstate New York community.


  I have seen a lot.


  I have reported on many moments in our rich history.


  This current chapter of Syracuse Orange athletics has been unprecedented because the coach that just finished his tenure on the sidelines there, Jim Boeheim, is unprecedented.

  With that piece of history coming to be, new history was made with Associate Head Coach Adrian "Red" Autry gaining his first head-coaching opportunity, being tabbed to lead the Orange forward.


  Assistant Coach Allen Griffin came onto my program, "Wake Up Call", following Autry's official press conference and broke that he and fellow Assistant Coach and Orange Basketball alum Gerry McNamara would be staying on staff under Autry.

  Which leads us to now...


  There is a seat open on the bench left by Autry shifting down the line after coaching the forwards for many seasons under Boeheim.

  So who fills that seat?

  To me, the answer lies just down the road from campus...


  At Liverpool High School, where Syracuse Basketball alum Ryan Blackwell has evolved and sustained a very successful boys basketball program.


  Blackwell went 18-5 in his first season on the sideline at Liverpool (2015-16).


  He would follow with a 19-6 record in 2016-17, 26-1 in 2017-18, 9-12 in 2018-19, 8-12 in 2019-20, 9-3 in 2020-21 (shortened due to covid pandemic), and 20-4 in 2021-22.


  Blackwell has four Section III Class AA championships under his belt at Liverpool, winning back-to-back titles in 2016-17 and 2017-18 and most recently in 2021-22 and this season of 2022-23, where the team has advanced to the New York State Class AA Semifinals with an opportunity at a second state title with Blackwell guiding the Warriors.


  Under his direction, the Warriors concluded the 2017-18 season atop all Class AA boys basketball programs in the state, hoisting up the 2018 New York State Class AA title trophy.


  He has roots with the Orange, connections with current members on the staff, bonds with local talent in the area, and he has proven that he can lead...

  And win...

  We have also seen him guide Syracuse Basketball alumni to success on the national stage inside of The Basketball Tournament (TBT).


  There is no doubt we have been blessed that he chose to return to Central New York after playing for the Orange.


  As far as what Blackwell thinks about the there being an opening on the Syracuse Orange Men's Basketball staff and people offering up his name, "Obviously it helps when you're in the backyard of Syracuse," he shared.


  We are blessed that he has been here to mold young minds and build deep roots with the future of our community and their families.


  "We're having a lot of success for the last several years," Blackwell added, when speaking on the Liverpool boys basketball program.


  "I realize there's a seat open, but we have a job to do. We're trying to win a state title," he expressed, as the Warriors gets set for their New York State Class AA Semifinal game this Friday, March 17th, at 1pmET.

  His parting words while speaking with me on "Wake Up Call" that followed?

  "You never know what the future holds."

Categories: Syracuse Orange Men's Basketball, Atlantic Coast Conference, NCAA

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