Former Syracuse forward Ryan Blackwell enjoyed his time playing for the Orange. He looks back on his career and remembers fondly the battles with old Big East Rivals. In fact, one of his best memories was hitting a game winning shot in the Big East Tournament semifinals.
”It’s definitely that one (against St. John’s),” Blackwell said. “I get reminded of that a lot of times. It’s on YouTube. When you Google my name it comes up. So I always remember that shot. To hit a shot like that in Madison Square Garden in the Big East Tournament, there’s nothing like that.”
Thinking back on some of the conference battles he participate in along with the rivalries, historic conference tournament and many other positive things about the Big East, it was difficult to see the Orange switch conference affiliations.
However, as time went one, Syracuse as part of the Atlantic Coast Conference grew on the former Orange forward.
”It was tough to see with at first,” Blackwell said. “Obviously with the tradition and all the history. Being a part of that, it was tough to see that change. But after watching it this year and even with a team like Louisville coming next year, having Notre Dame and Pitt and being able to play Duke, North Carolina and Virginia on a regular basis, it brings a whole new element.
”It starts all new rivalries. It was tough at first but I think it’s refreshing and exciting.”
Recently, Syracuse announced a renewal of their rivalry with Georgetown. Prior to conference realignment, it was considered one of the best in college basketball. Now, as non-conference foes, it has the opportunity to take on new life.
”I think it’s important,” Blackwell said. “Regardless of what conference they’re both in, that is one of the best rivalries in college basketball history. Having that back is great. It’s definitely a positive for both teams, both schools and college basketball in general.”