In Monday night's 74-66 loss to the Pittsburgh Panthers (No. 5 in the AP poll and No. 4 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll), the No. 3 Syracuse Orange fans witnessed a breakout performance from freshman forward C.J. Fair, who came off the bench to compile collegiate-bests in minutes (36), points (16) and rebounds (nine). No. 5 was impressive and helped SU comeback from a horrid start, which featured a 19-0 deficit in the game's first eight minutes.
While watching Fair, who netted six points during a 17-0 run that got the Orange (18-1, 5-1) back into the game, I couldn't help but think the 6-foot-8 forward reminded me of another former SU forward that wore No. 5, Josh Pace. The 6-foot-5 forward, who played for the Orange(men) from 2001-'05, was a solid contributor on Syracuse's National Title team ('02-'03) -- 21 minutes, eight points and eight rebounds in the title game against Kansas -- and ended up averaging 10.8 points and 5.0 rebounds during his senior campaign. Pace's staple was a left-handed floater, which was usually released just inside the free-throw line, that ALWAYS went it -- during his four years with SU, Pace shot 53 percent from the field.
However, not only was Pace a threat on offense but he did all of the little things. Not once can a fan recall screaming at the television, "JOSH! COME ON!" Everything about Pace's game was solid. What Fair did on Monday night was very Josh Pace-like. Solid. It's nice to see the No. 5 contributing again.
|2010 - C.J. Fair||16||14.7||2.1||4.1||50.0||0.1||0.2||33.3||1.1||2.1||54.5||1.1||1.9||2.9||0.3||0.7||0.8||0.4||1.1||5.3|