The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
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Freshman star lives happily ever after

 Freshman star lives happily ever after
Freshman star lives happily ever after

Freshman star lives happily ever after

The storybook had been written. Kansas seniors Nick Collison and Kirk Hinrich would deliver Kansas head coach Roy Williams his first national championship. Unfortunately for the Jayhawks, Carmelo Anthony didn’t get the memo.

Instead, the 6-foot-8 freshman phenom had his own Cinderella story planned out. He would give a head coach with over 500 career wins and 37 tournament victories his first national title.

Prior to Monday’s national championship game, Syracuse was known for its vaunted 2-3 zone, its charismatic head coach Jim Boeheim and for being the victim of Keith Smart’s game-winning shot in the 1987 national championship game.

Now only two words are used to describe the Syracuse basketball program – National Champions – and it is all thanks to Carmelo Anthony.

Averaging 22 points and 10 rebounds a game for the entire season, Anthony was the driving force for Syracuse’s run to the Final Four. Once there, and in the spotlight, he didn’t disappoint.

In the national semi-final against Texas, Anthony posted a career-high 33 points to go along with a workman-like 14 rebounds. Then, playing with a strained back muscle, he scored 20 points and added 10 rebounds in the national title game against Kansas, giving his Orangemen an 81-78 victory.

Carmelo also took home some hardware of his own, the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player Award. The last freshman to do that was Louisville’s “Never Nervous” Pervis Ellison in 1986.

However, Anthony’s mystique is more than just numbers and trophies; it is the way he plays the game that is most intriguing.

While many of today’s young athletes are drowning in self-absorption, it actually looks like Anthony is having fun on the court. The smile on Carmelo Anthony’s face will be the image for which this tournament is remembered.

Sure, Butler’s run to the sweet 16 was great and Marquette’s shocker over Kentucky was memorable, but that smile will stay etched in the minds of fans for years to come.

While the Syracuse fans in the New Orleans Superdome chanted during the national championship game, “One more year! One more year,” Anthony’s departure for the NBA draft is merely a formality.

This begs the question, which would you rather have: LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony? Would you rather have Hummers and hype or heart and hustle?

The answer is clear. Anthony averaged a double-double against older, more physically mature men than himself, while James played against scrawny 16-year-olds who still use acne medicine.

It would have been easy for Anthony to go directly to the NBA out of high school. Coming out of prep basketball powerhouse Oak Hill Academy, he was projected by many analysts as a lottery pick in last year’s draft. However, he chose to go to college, and by showing his smile on college basketball’s grandest stage, he put a smile on the faces of sports fans across the country. He even got to write his own fairy tale.

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