Saturday, September 14, 2019

Early Comments on Syracuse 2019-2020 Basketball Schedule

The ACC recently announced the conference basketball schedule for 2019-2020.  The newly vamped 20 game season with the addition of the ACC network has the Orange playing a game in November vs Virginia, and one on the road against Georgia Tech in December.  The rest of the games, as expected, fall into the traditional January through March time frame.

Overall, the schedule is fine.  There are a few things I do not like about the schedule:

Here’s what I don’t like about it:

  • We play Notre Dame, Virginia, and Virginia Tech all twice in our first eight games.
  • We play five of our last seven games on the road
  • No games in NC this year likely means a boatload of games in NC next year.

Since we’ve been in the ACC, he’s how the end of our schedule played out each time:

  • 2013-2014 four of last five games on the road
  • 2014-2015 three of last four games on the road
  • 2015-2016 four of the last six games on the road
  • 2016-2017 four of the last seven on the road (though only two of the last five)
  • 2017-2018 three of the last five on the road
  • 2018-2019 three of the last four on the road
  • 2019-2020 five of the last seven on the road

So there is a pattern there that is not very kind to Syracuse, and given a sample set of seven, that is more than a coincidence.

Of course, if we always finish our schedule with more road games than home, then the rest of the schedule will of course feature more home than road games. But come crunch time of the season, every single season, we have to go on the road.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

The Era Pre-Big East

The Big East launched its inaugural season in 1979-1980 with Syracuse, Georgetown, St. John's, Connecticut, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John's and Boston College on board. Villanova would join a year later, and Pitt a few years later in 1982.

It may be hard to believe now, but the Orangemen did not have rivalries with all those teams prior to the Big East.  A few, including Georgetown, they had barely played.  I discussed that in detail in an article back in 2018

The Orangemen did have some common opponents prior to the Big East.  Penn State was the most common opponent over the previous 11 seasons (1968-69 to 1978-79), with 23 games.  Syracuse won 17 of those, losing just six.  That was by far the most games the Orangemen had against any team over that time span. 

The Orangemen played the following 13 teams ten or more times during that eleven year period:

Team Wins  Losses Games
Penn State 17 6 23
Niagara 10 3 13
Colgate 12 0 12
Pittsburgh 7 5 12
West Virginia 7 5 12
Cornell 10 1 11
Canisius 10 1 11
American 9 2 11
St. John's 8 3 11
Temple 7 4 11
Buffalo 10 0 10
LaSalle 8 2 10
Fordham 8 2 10

Only Pittsburgh and St. John's would be in the early years of the Big East; West Virginia would come along in 1995.

Most of these teams the Orangemen have barely played since the Big East began; Cornell and Colgate would be the notable exceptions with frequent play.  

Connecticut, St. Bonaventure and Rutgers just missed that list with nine games each during that time span.  UConn, of course, was in the Big East.  Rutgers was invited to join, but declined.

If the original Big East was built on Syracuse's most common recent opponents, with eight teams, the league would have been:  Syracuse, Penn State, Niagara, Colgate, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and two of the following:  Cornell, Canisius, American, St. John's, and Temple.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Syracuse Three Year Scoring Leaders

Tyus Battle finished his Syracuse career this year as the #16 all-time scorer in school history.  Most scorers with 1,000+ points accomplished the feat in four seasons, but Battle did it in three.

There are only two three-year players ahead of Battle on the all-time scoring list. The top 10 scorers for three-year players are:

Dave Bing
Dave Bing
1. Dave Bing 1,883 points (24.8 ppg)
2. Billy Owens 1.840 points (17.9 ppg)
3. Tyus Battle 1,647 points (16.0 ppg)
4. Dennis DuVal 1,504 (18.6 ppg)
5. Rudy Hackett 1,496 (17.2 ppg)
6. Pearl Washington 1,490 (15.7 ppg)
7. Bill Smith 1,451 (20.7 ppg)
8. Greg Kohls 1,360 (19.2 ppg)
9. Mike Lee 1,351 (16.3 ppg)
10. Vinnie Cohen 1,337 (19.7 ppg)

Obviously, there are some four-year players who would have made this list based on just their first three years.

Owens, Battle and the Pearl are the only ones on the list who left after their junior year. The others are players who played when freshman were not eligible.

Lawrence Moten, Syracuse's all-time leading scorer, had 1,745 points after his first three seasons.  He would have ranked 3rd on this list.

Sherman Douglas scored 1,914 point in his last three seasons at Syracuse, the most for any player over three consecutive seasons.  Stephen Thompson scored 1,764 in his final three seasons.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Paschal Chukwu - By The Number - 2019

Pashcal Chukwu wrapped up his career with the Orange this past season.  He never developed an offensive game other than offensive rebounds and alley-oop dunks, but he did get somewhat proficient with those making 72.1% of his shots his senior year.

Paschal Chukwu
Chukwu did not make too many of Syracuse's to 100 lists, but he did chart some places.

355 career points is nowhere near the top 100 for Syracuse.  Including his time at Providence, Chukwu scored 445 career points, or less points than Elijah Hughes scored this past season.

458 rebounds for 54th all-time.  Jeremy McNeil has 460 and Adrian Autry 456.

163 blocked shots for 12th all-time.  He is well behind #11 Conrad McRae (163) and just ahead of Baye Moussa Keita (154).

53 steals for 83rd all-time.  He is similar to Matt Roe (54) and Sean Kerins (52).

Chukwu led the team in blocked shots the past two seasons.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Oshae Brissett - By the Numbers - 2019

Oshae Brissett ended his freshman year on a high note, leaving fans with high expectations for 2018-2019.  Unfortunately, Brissett did not improve over the summer, and appeared to regress in many ways, particularly with his three point shooting and free throws.  

Here are the numbers for Brissett's developing career:

Oshae Brissett
976 points scored for #64 all-time at Syracuse.  He is currently right behind teammate Frank Howard (992 points).  If Brissett does return for his junior season, he will most certainly be the 63rd Syracuse player to score 1,000 points in his career.

581 rebounds for 37th all-time.  Preston Shumpert had 589, Lawrence Moten 590.

95 assists for 90th all-time.  He's in the same company as Andre Hawkins (96) and Sonny Spera (90).

85 three point field goals made for 31st all-time.  Teammate Elijah Hughes has 87 for his career , and Malachi Richardson had 79.

56 blocked shots for 39th all-time.  That is similar to Donte Green (57), Kueth Duany (57) and Jerami Grant (55).

76 steals for 67th all-time.  He is tied with Rakeem Christmas, and just behind Tyler Lydon (77).

30.69% three point shooting percentage for 52nd all-time.  The nearest shooters to him are Tony Bland (30.9%), Lazarus Sims (30.65%) and Michael Carter-Williams (30.4%).

73.6% free throw shooting percentage, for 44th all-time. His poor shooting in 2018-19 dropped him significantly, down from 18th from last year. He is about the same as John Wallace and DeShaun Williams.

Brissett has led the Orange in rebounds back-to-back seasons.  The last to do that was C.J. Fair in 2012-13 and 2013-14.  His 7.5 rebounds per game was the lowest for a team leader since Fair's senior year.

Brissett led the team in three point percentage as a freshman with 33.1%; he was the worst on the team in 2018-19 at 27.0%.  That is the second lowest three point percentage in Syracuse history, minimum 100 attempts.  Trevor Cooney's freshman year was lower at 26.7%.

Monday, April 08, 2019

Frank Howard - By The Numbers - 2019

Frank Howard wrapped up his Syracuse career with a disappointing senior season hampered by a preseason injury that lingered all year and a banned substance suspension to end the year.  

Here are the numbers to remember Howard's career:

Frank Howard Syracuse Guard
Frank Howard
992 points scored for #63 all-time at Syracuse.  If he had not been suspended, he likely would have reached the 1,000 point plateau.  Instead he gets to supplant Danny Schayes as the player closest to reaching that mark without achieving it.

284 rebounds for 90th all-time.  He has one less than teammate Tyus Battle, and roughly the same number as Trevor Cooney (285), Scoop Jardine (282) and Eric Devendorf (277).

435 assists for 10th all-time.  He's in the same company as Brandon Triche (438) and Lazarus Sims (432).

138 three point field goals made for 18th all-time.  That's about the same as Adrian Autry (139) and Jason Hart (139).

23 blocked shots for 72nd all-time.  That is the same number as teammate Tyus Battle, as well as Herman Harried and Erich Santifer.

166 steals for 21st all-time.  He is in close company with DeShaun Williams (168) and Josh Pace (161).

31.9% three point shooting percentage for 48th all-time.  The nearest shooters to him are Billy Owens (32.3%), Ryan Blackwell (31.7%) and Lawrence Moten (31.6%).

68.3% free throw shooting percentage for 82nd all-time.  Similar free throw shooters include Scoop Jardine, Derrick Coleman, Luke Jackson and Billy Owens.

Howard led the Orange in assists in both his junior and senior seasons.  His 84 assists as a senior were the fewest ever by the Orange team leader.

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Tyus Battle - By The Numbers - 2019

Tyus Battle surprised many Syracuse fans when he bypassed the 2018 NBA draft and came back to Syracuse for his junior season.  Battle did improve some aspects of his game, particularly his efficiency, but overall the season was disappointing for the team.  Battle has announced he is going into the 2019 NBA draft, and I would be surprised if that were to change this year.  

Here are the numbers to remember Battle's career:

Syracuse Tyus Battle
Tyus Battle
1,647 points for 16th all-time.  If he had not missed the ACC Tournament, he most certainly would have passed C.J. Fair (1,660 points), and possibly Eric Devendorf (1,680 points).

285 rebounds for 89th all-time.  He has one more than teammate Frank Howard, and roughly the same number as Trevor Cooney (285), Scoop Jardine (282) and Eric Devendorf (277).

214 assists for 44th all-time.  He's similar to Trevor Cooney (215) and Josh Wright (217).

179 three point field goals made for 9th all-time.  That's about the same as Todd Burgan (178).

23 blocked shots for 72nd all-time.  That is the same number as teammate Frank Howard, as well as Herman Harried and Erich Santifer.

135 steals for 31st all-time.  He is tied with Ryan Blackwell and close to Eric Devendorf (134).

33.5% three point shooting percentage for 37th all-time.  Comparable three point shooters to him are Trevor Cooney (33.7%), DeShaun Williams (33.6%) and Adrian Autry (33.3%).

80.3% free throw shooting percentage for 12th all-time.  Similar free throw shooters include Danny Schayes and Trevor Cooney.   Battle is one of only 12 Syracuse players to shoot 80% for their career (minimum 100 attempts).

Battle led the Orange in scoring in both his sophomore and junior seasons.  The last player to lead the team in scoring back-to-back years was C.J. Fair in 2012-13 and 2013-14. 

Battle fell four assists short of leading the team in assists.  If he had accomplished the feat, he would have been the first non-point guard since Andy Rautins 2009-10 to lead the team in assists.

Battle holds the Syracuse record for most minutes per game for his career in the NCAA tournament with 39.6 minutes a game for 5 games. 

Battle was a Second Team ACC Player his sophomore year, and Third Team ACC Player his junior year.