Wednesday, September 07, 2016

OrangeHoops 2016 Hall of Fame

In 2007, OrangeHoops inducted its charter class into the OrangeHoops Hall of Fame: Dave Bing, Derrick Coleman, Sherman Douglas, Vic Hanson, and Pearl Washington. The next eight years saw the addition of Billy Owens (2008), Billy Gabor (2009), Lawrence Moten (2010), Louis Orr (2011), Roosevelt Bouie (2011)  John Wallace (2012),  Rony Seikaly (2013), Vinnie Cohen (2014) and Etan Thomas (2015).  So the list now stands at 14. Another year has passed, and now it is time for the 2016 inductee.

I established my rules for the OrangeHoops Hall of Fame back in 2007 and you can catch up on them here. 2016 does have six new eligible candidates (using the fifteen year rule): Allen Griffin, Damone Brown, Rob McClanaghan, Tim Byrnes, Chris Schau, Mike Rosenblum

Allen Griffin was a four year player for the Orangemen with an unusual career.  His freshman year he was a reserve guard playing in all but one game.  His sophomore year he was the starting shooting guard, rotating playing time with Tony Bland and Preston Shumpert.  He would lose his starting position his junior season. While he still played over 10 minutes a game, he was behind Tony Bland, Preston Shumpert, Jason Hart and DeShaun Williams on the depth chart.  When Hart graduated, Griffin would move back into the starting lineup as the point guard, and would play more minutes than any other player that year.  He would have a triple double against Pittsburgh with 14 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.  The next game he would score 31 points in leading the Orangemen to an overtime win against St. John’s; Griffin would make 18 of 22 free throw in that game.

Damone Brown was a skinny forward, who developed a good mid range jump shot, and became a decent rebounder. After playing only 53 minutes his freshman year, he was a starter his final three years at Syracuse, and was named Second Team All Big East his senior year.  Brown would have a brief four year career in the NBA.

Rob McClanaghan, Tim Byrnes, Chris Schau and Mike Rosenblum were all walk-on players for Syracuse.  McClanaghan was a three year player scoring 20 points,  Byrnes a one year graduate player who failed to score, Schau a three year walk-on who failed to score, and Rosenblum a two year walk-on who failed to score.

None of the candidates from 2000-2001 would make my top 10 candidates.

I think this year’s viable top 10 candidates come down to the following, listed chronologically: Lew Castle, Joe Schwarzer, Lew Andreas, Jon Cincebox, Jimmy Lee, Rudy Hackett, Leo Rautins, Rafael Addison, Stephen Thompson, and Jason Hart.

Castle was a two time All-American at Syracuse, and was captain and leading scorer of Syracuse’s only undefeated team, the 1913-1914 squad that went 12-0.

Schwarzer was a two time All-American, and was captain and leading scorer of the 1917-1918 squad that went 16-1 and was retroactively named the National Champions by the Helms Foundation.

Andreas coached Syracuse basketball for 27 seasons, including the 19-1 1925-1926 squad that was awarded the Helms Foundation National Championship. He had a career record of 358-134, and he was the Syracuse Athletic Director for 28 years (1937-1964).

Cincebox was on the best rebounders in Syracuse history (in an era when rebounding numbers were admittedly high).  He helped Syracuse to the NCAA Elite Eight in 1956-1957, as the dominant big man for the Orangemen.

Lee was a clutch shooter with terrific perimeter range, and outstanding free throw shooting ability. He was able to use his shooting ability to set himself up as a solid passer. Lee's 18 foot jumper with five seconds remaining led the Orangemen to beat heavily favored North Carolina, as the Orangemen eventually moved on to their first NCAA Final Four. Lee would end up making the All-Tournament team for his outstanding performances.

Hackett was a powerful forward who could run the court well. He was a great rebounder and terrific scorer near the hoop.  He led the Orangemen in scoring his senior year and helped lead Syracuse to its first Final Four in 1975.

Rautins was a terrific ball-handling forward with a nice shooting touch, solid rebounding and scoring skills. He is most well known for his game winning tip in basket to win the Big East Championship in triple overtime against Villanova in 1981.  Rautins also recorded two triple-doubles in Big East action.

Addison was a gangly small forward who earned a reputation for being one of the most underrated players in the country.  He possessed an excellent mid range jump shot, was decent passing the ball, and was a solid free throw shooter. He led the team in scoring his sophomore and junior seasons.  He moved to shooting guard his senior year, and his 6’7” height helped with the mismatches. Unfortunately a leg injury impacted his effectiveness the second half of the season.

Thompson was an explosive swingman, with incredible quickness and vertical leap, and excellent defensive skills. He was extremely adept at playing above the basket though he was only about 6'2". He teamed with Sherman Douglas to perfect the alley-oop basket.  Thompson was an extremely proficient scorer, despite the fact he was a terrible perimeter shooter. 

Hart was a speedy defensive point guard, and a four year starter.  He was a decent ball handler, and finished his career as the number two assist man all time at Syracuse. He was much better on the defensive end, and would finish as SU's all-time leader in steals.  Hart would have a 9 year career in the NBA, mostly as a backup guard.

All are worthy players, and tough selections to make.  I designed my selection rules to make it tough; the Hall of Fame should be the 'best of the best', and I would rather have a line of worthy players outside the Hall of Fame, than cheapen it by having lessor players included.

This may be the toughest pick for me in all the years so far.  Ten very good candidates, and a couple of those players are among my all-time personal favorites.  My 2016 inductee is Joe Schwarzer

Joe Schwarzer Syracuse Orangemen Basketball
Joe Schwarzer
Joe Schwarzer was the star of the Orangemen from 1916 to 1918.  He was a two time All American and an excellent ball handler. In that era, the center position did much of the ball handling on offense, as the ball moved through that position before being passed to other players.  He was also the best free throw shooter on the team, earning the distinction of being the designated free throw shooter his senior year.  He led the team to a 16-1 record his senior year, and the team was recognized as the best team in the country by the Helms Foundation.  He is considered Syracuse's best all-around basketball player prior to Vic Hanson’s arrival.

Schwarzer was an excellent all-around athlete. He lettered four times in football as an End (wide receiver), and earned All-American status his senior year. He also lettered in baseball. Schwarzer was the captain of the basketball, baseball and football teams.  He would earn a law degree from Syracuse.

Schwarzer passed away in 1989.

Congratulations to Joe Schwarzer, the OrangeHoops 2016 Hall of Fame inductee.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Syracuse Scholarship Counts and Redshirts

Matthew Moyer is currently struggling with a foot injury, and per reports, he will find out in a few weeks the status of that injury.  It is possible a redshirt could come up for him; hopefully, things work out the best for him.

Redshirting a player has become rather common place for Syracuse basketball.  The past six seasons have all had a player redshirt, and going back to 2006-2007, ever season but one has had a redshirt. That covers a full decade.  The last time no players redshirted was in 2009-2010.  In 2007-2008 there were two redshirts with Andy Rautins and Devin Brennan-McBride taking the year off; the same was true in 2008-2009 when Scoop Jardine and Wesley Johnson both redshirted.   Ironically from 2003 to 2006 there were no redshirts on the basketball team.  

You could make a pretty decent squad from the guys who redshirted the past decade.

Here’s a list of the number of scholarship players each season since 2002-2003 and the players who redshirted that year.  This includes guys who voluntarily redshirted a season and players who medically redshirted the full season.

2015-2016 10 including Pascal Chukwu redshirt
2014-2015 10 including DaJuan Coleman redshirt
2013-2014 12 including Chino Obokoh redshirt
2012-2013 10 including Michael Gbinije redshirt
2011-2012 12 including Trevor Cooney redshirt
2010-2011 11 including DaShonte Riley redshirt
2009-2010 10 no redshirts
2008-2009 11 including Scoop Jardine & Wesley Johnson redshirt
2007-2008 12 including Andy Rautins & Devin Brennan-McBride redshirt
2006-2007 12 including Arinze Onuaku redshirt
2005-2006 10 no redshirts
2004-2005 11 no redshirts
2003-2004 11 no redshirt
2002-2003 9 no redshirts

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Melo Wins Third Gold

Carmelo Anthony won his third Gold medal at the Rio Olympics, representing the United States well.  He has participated in four Olympics, winning a Bronze medal in 2004, and a Gold medal in 2008, 2012 and 2016.  Following the game, Anthony was interviewed by NBC, with the following response:

"For this one reason right now… it was a special moment for me. Long time.
I know this is the end. This is the end for me. I committed to something [long pause].  I committed to this in ’04. I’ve seen the worst, and I’ve seen the best, and I stuck with it, we stuck with it, and I’m here today three gold medals later.  I’m excited for me but also for the other guys who never experienced anything like this.  
Despite everything that is going on right now in our country, we gotta be united and I’m glad I did what I did. I stepped up to the challenge. But this is what it is about, and representing my own country on the biggest stage you can be on…  America will be great again I believe that… we’ve got a lot of work to do but it’s one step at a time, man, and I’m glad we represented in the fashion that we did."

Congratulations to the entire Olympic team, and especially to Carmelo Anthony and coach Jim Boeheim, both who have earned their third Gold medals for Olympic basketball.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day 2016

Five Syracuse University basketball players have died while in military service for the United States. On this Memorial Day, please take a moment to recognize them, along with all the other veterans who have passed away.

Wilmeth Sidat-Singh was a member of the Tuskegee Airman, and was killed in a training accident when his plane crashed into Lake Michigan in 1943.

Charles Taggart was a member of the US Navy serving aboard the USS Frederick C. Davis, and was killed when his ship was torpedoed by a German U-Boat on April 24, 1945. Taggart and 115 crew members perished.

Joe Minsavage was killed in World War II on June 19, 1943 when his ship was attacked and he was lost at sea.

Gene Berger was killed in 1961 during flight maneuvers. He was a Commander in the U.S. Navy and a Naval aviator, and his plane would crash into the Pacific.

Harry Martin was killed in 1923 when his plane crashed during takeoff at Kelley Field, Texas.  He was a Lieutenant and an Army Aviator.  Martin had served in the AEF in France in World War I.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Jim Boeheim: Quick Comments on YESNetwork

I stumbled across a couple of old interviews with Jim Boeheim on the YESNetwork (November 14, 2013).  These two videos are interesting to me, as they give some insight into Boeheim's perspective.

I think we all knew Boeheim really liked and respected Gerry McNamara, but I don't think I really knew how much.  The first video clip, particularly his last comments, really points it out.  Boeheim states that GMac is the toughest player he ever coached, the biggest overachiever, and the guy he would want in a foxhole with him.

I think most Syracuse fans have heard the Jim Boeheim story about hiring Rick Pitino.  I don't think I ever realized before that Boeheim didn't know Pitino at the time.

I always had a very high opinion of Chris Mullin as a player. Apparently, Boeheim does too.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Thank You Pearl

Pearl Washington
The Pearl

I don't think anyone can ever underestimate the importance of Dwayne 'Pearl' Washington to Syracuse basketball, and the outpouring of affection and remembrances from the community is testament to that.

The Pearl played basketball with a different style than those before him.  The younger fans today may be jaded by the performance of the numerous NBA players who patterned part of their game style after the Pearl, making some of the things he did more commonplace today.  But he was an original.

The Pearl was not the most athletic player on the court. He was not exceptionally fast, and he could not jump or leap very well.  He wasn't even a great perimeter shooter.  But he could do four things, routinely on the court:

  1. Simply score.  He was able to drive to the hoop against anyone, and when he got to the basket he simply made the layup, or had a floater over a defender.  I'm not sure if he could even dunk the ball... not that it mattered.  And it did not matter who defended him; the Pearl made defenders look foolish. His triple fake against Georgetown's Gene Smith in the Big East tourney is well known.
  2. Great passer.  The Pearl was the school's all time assist man when he left, despite playing only three years.  He had great court vision, was very good with wrap around passed and no look touch passes. 
  3. Great teammate.  The Pearl could score, but he focused on making his teammates better.  The guys around him were better players because of him.  As fans we took for granted how much he surpressed his scoring ability. It became apparent how great a scorer he truly was when Raf Addison was hampered down the stretch of Pearl's last season, and the Pearl went on a tremendous scoring spree over the last 12 games or so, stepping up and doing the scoring now that the team's leading scorer (Raf) was unavailable.
  4. Amazing Everyone.  Pearl was electric on the court.  Fans wanted to see him play, and they flocked to see him.  I'm sure opposing players had to be in awe at times; Jim Boeheim in his press conference earlier today admitted he caught himself at times watching the Pearl play, instead of focusing on coaching. He was mesmerizing.
Boeheim mentioned in his press conference earlier today how humble the Pearl was.  He was electrifying on the court, and you would have assumed that persona carried off the court.  But, for all accounts, that was just his basketball style. Off the court, Pearl was a good friend, teammate and humble.

My favorite memory of the Pearl?  I didn't have a lot of opportunities to go to Syracuse games when I was younger.  We used to go to one or two games a year.  My senior year in high school, my father and I went to see the Orangemen play Boston College on January 24, 1984.  It was a great game, with a lot of back and forth action.  It looked like the Orangemen were going to lose the game when BC's Martin Clark was fouled with a few seconds left on the clock and the Eagles down by one.  Clark made the first free throw to tie the game. He missed the second free throw; the ball ended up in the hands of the Pearl, who raced down the court, and just before mid court he launched a half court shot. Of course, as all Orange fans know, the ball swished through the hoop and the Orangemen won.   In true Pearl style, after Washington released the shot he kept running down the court and when the ball went through, and the crowd erupted, the Pearl kept running straight into the Syracuse locker room.  As if he knew he had made the shot the whole time.

Pearl, God bless you and your family.  

Thursday, March 31, 2016

OrangeHoops Reaches 1/2 Million

My thanks to all the Syracuse basketball fans who have visited over the years.  On March 30, 2016, the site had its 500,000th visitor.  

OrangeHoops was launched in March 2005 as an effort to share information that I had been gathering for years.  I was frustrated by the lack of information I could find on my beloved Orangemen, and though the internet has millions of records of information, it had surprisingly little on Syracuse basketball.  Especially for the details I was always curious about.

I hope you have enjoyed the site, and continue to visit it. It is a non-revenue venture, and one I hope to keep continuing. I am eager to see how long it takes for the second 1/2 million visitors to arrive. is by no means a prolific site, with an average of  about 45,000 visitors a year, but I do hope they are all meaningful visits.  [Note that I didn't start tracking visitors until November 2005, so a few months of data is missing]

Again, my thanks to all the visitors.

Let's Go Orange!