All of a sudden, Washington, D.C. has turned into a Mecca for some of Central New York’s top basketball talents.
It’s a bit ironic, given Syracuse University’s long-time rivalry with Georgetown. But it’s the school just across town – George Washington University - that has managed to snag two standouts – one in the middle of his college career, the other still a year away from it.
Jordan Roland is the newcomer, announcing on July 14 through Twitter that he was going to GW in 2015 after he graduates from Westhill. Tyler Cavanaugh is the veteran, the Jamesville-DeWitt graduate transferring from Wake Forest University after two seasons of solid contributions to a struggling Demon Deacons side.
They arrive there in vastly different circumstances.
The success at GW – 24 wins under head coach Mike Lonergan and an NCAA Tournament appearance last March - proved to be an attraction for Roland, highly coveted since a memorable junior campaign that culminated in Westhill going a perfect 27-0 and winning both the state and Federation Class B championships.
Roland was already a standout thanks to his sophomore season, when the Warriors reached the state final four. But the 6-foot-1 guard turned it up several notches a year later, averaging 24 points a game, earning All-Central New York Player of the Year honors and, at times, putting on dazzling offensive displays.
And it got even better in the post-season, when Roland upped his scoring average to 28.5 points per game, culminating in a New York State Public High School Athletic Association final against Olean where he poured in 41 points, 32 of them in the first half, in a 91-52 Westhill win. The Warriors claimed the Federation title in Albany a week later.
After leading J-D to a pair of state Class A titles and three state final four appearances, Cavanaugh took his talents south, to Wake Forest, lured there by strong academics and a rapport with the Demon Deacons’ head coach, Jeff Bziedlik.