Sunday, March 28, 2010

2010 Milestones Reached

The 2009-2010 season has wrapped up, and we have to say farewell to a couple of fifth year seniors in Andy Rautins and Arinze Onuaku. Though neither was a four year starter, they both did put up some notable career statistics, and this season saw a few other highlights.

Before I move on, here is the trivia question for today. Rautins and Onuaku were fifth year seniors, and because of injuries in their career, they played a year beyond their class graduation (2009). Who were the three Syracuse basketball players who should have been seniors on this year’s team?

Back to the statistics. Rautins finished his career as the 2nd all-time three point shooter at Syracuse with 282 three point shots made, trailing only Gerry McNamara’s 400. Rautins is 10th all-time in 3 point pct with 37.4%.

Andy Rautins, of course, is forever linked to his father Leo, and we can check how they compared. Both are in the 1000 point club, Andy with 1,121 pts (46th all time) versus Leo’s 1,031 (53rd). Leo has the edge in points per game, leading 12.1 to 8.8.

Leo shot 76.7% from the free throw line (18th all-time) versus Andy’s 76.3% (20th all-time). Leo had 423 assists (9th) versus Andy’s 347 (16th). Leo had 529 rebounds, Andy 327 rebounds.

Arinze Onuaku set both the all-time best marks and all-time worst. Onuaku’s career field goal percentage is 64.8%, the school record for a player with 200 or more field goal attempts. On the downside, Onuaku’s career free throw percentage is 39.5%, the worst for any player with 200 or more attempts.

Onuaku broke the single season record for field goal percentage this year with 66.8% (153 of 229), breaking the record he set last year at 66.7%. Onuaku finished his career with the #1, 2 and 6 best season field goal percentages ever.

Onuaku also joined the Rautins clan in the 1000 point club, finishing with 1,232 (36th all time).

Onuaku is 11th all-time on the blocked shot list with 148. His teammate, Rick Jackson, is currently 10th on that list with 173.

On the all time Syracuse three point percentage list (career), Wesley Johnson and Brandon Triche rank 3rd and 5th respectively at 41.5% and 40.0%.

I am not sure how many people realize how much of a three point shooting team the Orange were this year. In Syracuse Orange history, only 14 times has a player shot 40% or better from three point range. Four of those players were in this past season: Mookie Jones hit 44.6% (25 of 56, 2nd best all time), Wesley Johnson 41.5%, Rautins 40.7% and Triche 40.0%. That is quite a quartet of shooters with fine seasons, despite the fact that three point range was extended last season.

The Syracuse team shot 39.1% from three point range, 2nd best in team history, trailing only the 1986-1987 team that shot 40.3%. And when you consider that Syracuse made 244 of 624 shots from three point range this year, versus 100 of 248 shots that year, the feat is more amazing. The 244 three point shots made were fourth most in school history, trailing the 2005-2006 season record where they team made 260 (but shot only 33.9%).

65% of the teams field goals this year were made associated with an assist (1042 field goals, 673 assists), which is the highest percent in school history. This broke the record of 64% set in 1999-2000.

Brandon Triche had the 2nd best freshman three point percentage (40%), trailing only DeShaun Williams 41.8%. Triche also had the 8th most assists by a freshman with 99 (Pearl Washington holds the record with 199).

How did Carmelo Anthony and Wesley Johnson match up? The two played the same number of games so its an interesting comparison. Anthony clearly had the scoring and rebounding edge (22.2 ppg, 10.0 rpg vs 16.5 ppg and 8.5 rpg). Johnson is the better pure shooter, beating Anthony in all three shooting percentages: field goal (50% vs 45.3%), free throw (77.2% vs 70.6%), and three point percentage (41.5% vs. 33.7%). Anthony took far more field goal shots (612 vs 412) and was fouled far more (238 free throw attempts vs 145).

They had nearly identical assists, turnovers and steals. Johnson blocked 64 shots compared to Anthony’s 30. Anthony was definitely the better player, but Johnson was clearly the better shooter, and slightly better as a defender.

Coach Jim Boeheim earned his 800th career win in the season opener, and is now the 2nd winningest active coach, with 829 total.

Scoop Jardine set the school record for most points scored in a season without starting a game, with 318 points. This broke the record held by Wendell Alexis, who had 298 points without starting in his junior season.

Going back to the trivia question. The answer is: Paul Harris (who left in 2009 as a junior), Mike Jones (who left in 2007, as a freshman) and Devan Brennan-McBride (who left in 2008 as a sophomore). Neither Rautins nor Onuaku were part of this freshman class, nor was Eric Devendorf, who like his classmates Rautins & Onuaku, missed a season because of injury and would’ve been a fifth year senior if he had stayed.

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