After speaking with the heart and soul of Boeheim’s Army, I realized that nothing had changed: Eric Devendorf will do whatever it takes to win. He’s a gamer, a winner and most importantly a remarkable young man. To this day, Devendorf deflects the praise he deserves and has a team mindset. He’s still the same feisty guard that he was 7 years ago.
In game one, Devendorf went off for 18 points and 7 assists in a 91-73 victory over NYCSuperstars. Despite his four turnovers (in which he made a joke about during the postgame press conference), the former SU guard looked very good. He still has the same quick handle he did seven years ago.
In Sunday’s game, things were a bit more interesting. At one point, Boeheim’s Army was down 10 points and it seemed as if their tournament lives were coming to an end. But a late run forced overtime, and then it got even more interesting. Devendorf was ejected midway through the four minute overtime after a tie-up with 20th & Olney’s Steven Smith.
“It was just two guys being competitive playing the sport they love," Devendorf said. "When you put blood and sweat into what you love, you have a certain passion. Few can understand that.”
Luckily, Boeheim’s Army squeaked out a 1-point victory over 20th & Olney to earn a spot in the Super 17.
“We’re feeling good,” Devendorf told CuseNation.com. “We have a great group of guys that all play hard and want to win so badly. It makes it easy to go out and fight for them each game.”
Although they go in the books as two victories, they were two very different games.
“The first game was important to get our confidence and rhythm as a team," Devendorf said. "It was a competitive game despite the score. The second game was great for us. Being down 10 points twice shows the type of resilience we have as a team and the type of guys we have on our team. Both were highly competitive games.”
The news of the day was confirming Demetris Nichols will be available all weekend, and the addition of Donte Greene and Rick Jackson. All three are crucial pieces to this teams success, and Devendorf knows that.
“He [Nichols] is one of my good friends," he said. "I workout with him every summer and he inspires me to be better, that’s how hard he works. It was a must for him to play.”
On the addition of Greene and Jackson he added, “It’s huge to have guys like that because they are both big time players. Teams have to look at them as a serious threat. Plus, it’s good to have more help on the glass.”
“I love it," Devendorf said. "I love Coach Hop and I couldn’t be happier for him and the future of the program.”
One thing that most probably don’t know is that Devendorf has been working out with Malachi Richardson, Tyler Lydon and Frank Howard weekly. So if you want an opinion on their game, he’s the man to ask.
“I have seen them most of the summer and with a lot of hard work, they are going to be fine," Devendorf said. "I really like this group of guys.”
Boeheim’s Army returns to action Friday night against the Liberty Ballers in Chicago. Tip off is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. ET.