CHARLOTTE, N.C -- Syracuse forward C.J. Fair said Wednesday that he was "50-50" about leaving school after his junior year and making himself eligible for the NBA draft.
"I was going back and forth every day. I was going to go, then I was going to stay," the City alum said Wednesday at the ACC's men's basketball media day. "I made my decision to come back the day of [the deadline]."
Fair said he chose to stay when others, including Maryland's Alex Len, left early. He wanted to improve his game, not necessarily just his draft stock. After improving his outside shot last season, the 6-foot-8 Fair said he hopes to become a more dominant post player this season.
"I thought I had a good enough year to go," said Fair, who scored 22 points in a NCAA semifinal loss to Michigan in Atlanta and averaged better than 16 points and six rebounds over the team's last six games.
"I looked at some of the guys in the draft and thought, 'I had a better year than them, I can go,'" he said. "I still got to prove myself -- that's what I'm focused on."
Asked about being the unquestioned leader of this year's team, Fair seems confident.
"It's not something I've experienced since high school, a coach is building around you, not so much to carry the team, but to lead the team," Fair said.
"... Coach wants me to up my production points and rebound-wise, and take it to another level. I think this conference is going to be stacked from top to bottom, with the new additions."