Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Single Season Leaps

Demetris Nichols is having a great season, and his scoring is up significantly from last season. He’s scored 511 points this year, as opposed to 466 points last season. If the Orangemen play about 8 more games, he’ll get to 662 points, which would be a 196 point increase from last season. It begged the question to me, what is the record at Syracuse for the biggest point increase from one season to another?

There have been fifteen players in Syracuse history to have increased their scoring by 300 or more points from one season to another. Five of those were guys in their senior seasons:

Ernie Austin 348 point increase (445 senior year, 97 points junior year)
Greg Monroe 344 (490, 146)
John Wallace 341 (845, 504)
Danny Schayes 318 (496, 178)
Bob Kouwe 302 (349, 47)

Of that fivesome, John Wallace stands out as very impressive. Think about it: he scored 16.8 ppg as a junior, was a possible first round NBA draft choice, and came back to school and increased his scoring by 341 points (not to mention taking the team to the brink of a national championship). His increased scoring (5.4 ppg) and 8 additional games (that’s what you get for making a deep tournament run) accounted for the difference. Austin and Kouwe both had injuries their junior year, and Monroe and Schayes were on the bench behind seniors.

Four guys made huge scoring transitions from their sophomore year to their junior year:

Greg Kohls 536 point increase (574 points junior year, 38 points sophomore year)
Dave Johnson 418 (621, 203)
Demetris Nichols 360 (466, 106)
Preston Shumpert 333 (662, 329)
Otis Hill (482, 195)

Kohls has the record for the biggest single season increase; 536 points would be a great season by itself, and he increased his scoring by that amount.

Six guys made the big jump their freshman to sophomore seasons:

Sherman Douglas 513 point increase (659 points sophomore year, 146 points freshman year)
Marty Byrnes 359 (377, 18)
Todd Burgan 350 (459, 109)
Rafael Addison 304 (565, 261)
Hakim Warrick 304 (518, 214)
Stephen Thompson 300 (492, 192)

As much as all these Orangemen made huge strides, no player in Syracuse history made as big a leap as Nick Paul. Paul increased his scoring by 209 points from his junior season to his senior season. That doesn’t seem so amazing does it?

Consider that Nick Paul played from 1918-1920. The typical scoring leader averaged 150 points in a season in about 15 games or so. Paul scored 216 points his senior season (1919-20) to lead the team in scoring; he had scored only 7 points his junior season. He had scored only 1 point his sophomore season. Paul scored 216 points his senior season, after scoring a total of 8 points in his college career up to that point. And while I haven’t been able to confirm it yet, I believe 216 points was a Syracuse single season scoring mark at that point in time. That is an amazing transformation.

That would be about as remarkable as Matt Gorman suddenly scoring 28 points a game his senior season.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Excellent analysis, as always. Notable scenarios in which we play eight more games include a Big East Tournament win and a first round exit from the Big Dance. I can't find an NIT bracket, but I bet eight games would also cover a first-round BE Tournament loss followed by a run to the NIT championship.