COLUMBUS, OH - As former Syracuse players welcome Colgate grad, Will Rayman, to the fold at The Basketball Tournament (TBT), the former Raiders standout is quickly earning his place in orange.
Making his debut, Thursday, in Boeheim's Army's Round of 16 game against Men of Mackey, Rayman saw just over 11 minutes (11:15) of playing time where he had four points going 1-for-3 from the floor, and hit two free throws late in the game.
He also brought much needed rebounding to the lineup with four rebounds, including a team-leading three at the offensive end.
Rayman's stats may not get him a highlight reel on ESPN's broadcast of TBT, but his new Boeheim's Army teammates were impressed with what he brought to the lineup.
"His 11 minutes were huge because that whole time he was in there scrapping," said forward Andrew White III, who played at Syracuse in the 2016-17 season. "He has a lot of skill offensively in terms of perimeter shooting, and picking-and-popping. He has a more finesse offensive style of play, but he changed up his style of play [for us] and he was fighting as hard as anybody."
Rayman, the 2020 Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, began his Colgate career on November 11, 2016 at the Carrier Dome against Syracuse with White on the opposite bench.
1,836 points, 900 rebounds and a Patriot League championship later, he finds himself in a new setting, in new colors with new teammates.
Only having a few days worth of practices before Tuesday's win-or-go-home game, he was quickly able to assimilate to the Syracuse-inspired style of play, including the famous 2-3 zone.
"Will Rayman has been doing a great job at just adapting," said Boeheim's Army forward Demetris Nichols, a member of the Orange from 2003-07. "A lot of his [adaptation] is really based on his hustle and energy. The guy who usually plays with the most energy, good things happen, whether it's a tipped ball or whether it's a rebound. He has that ability to play with that energy."
Rayman and Boeheim's Army have another day of practice on Friday before they their next all-or-nothing contest against No. 22 Sideline Cancer at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
When the former Raiders star takes the court for that matchup, he will do so having already won over approval from many in the Syracuse Orange/Boeheim's Army community.
"He really laid it on the line for us." said White III. "We didn't know quite what to expect just because we had never played with him before. So for him to step in with guys he's not as familiar with and to fight like that, he's definitely earned our respect."