Thursday, September 16, 2010

2010 OrangeHoops Hall of Fame Selection

In 2007, OrangeHoops inducted its charter class into the OrangeHoops Hall of Fame: Dave Bing, Derrick Coleman, Sherman Douglas, Vic Hanson, and Pearl Washington. In 2008 Billy Owens was added to that list, and in 2009 Billy Gabor. So the list now stands at 8. Another year has passed, and now it is time for the 2010 inductee.

I won’t bother you with all the rules for eligibility (you can catch up on them here). 2010 does have six new eligible candidates (using the fifteen year rule): Michael Lloyd, Lawrence Moten, Luke Jackson, Elimu Nelson, Derrick Johnson and Melvin Tuten. Moten is a viable candidate from this list, and in fact, a very strong candidate. Jackson was a four year player / three year starter, but not noteworthy enough to warrant selection. Lloyd was a solid point guard for his one year on the Hill, but again nothing noteworthy. Nelson and Johnson were bench players, and Tuten a NFL prospect working out over the winter.

Other than Moten, I think this year’s viable top candidates come down to the following seven, listed chronologically: Lew Castle, Joe Schwarzer, Lew Andreas, Vinnie Cohen, Roosevelt Bouie, Louis Orr and Rony Seikaly.

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.Lew 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).

Cohen was an All-American, the first Syracuse player to average 20+ points a game in a season, and led the team to the NCAA Elite Eight in 1956-1957.

Bouie was a two time All-American, a standout defensive player who led Syracuse to a 100-18 record in his four years, and part of the famed Louie N’ Bouie tandom that rocketed Syracuse up the polls in the early Jim Boeheim years.

Orr was an All-American his senior year, a talented offensive player who played with intelligence on the court. He was the other half of the famed Louie N’ Bouie tandom.

Seikaly was an All-American, a standout defensive player whose outstanding play in the 1987 NCAA tournament took Syracuse to the brink of its first tournament championship.

Moten is the Syracuse all-time leading scorer, and the Big East conference all-time leading scorer. He was three times selected to the All Big East first team.

Again, another tough year with some very worthy candidates. That is of course by design; the OrangeHoops Hall of Fame is supposed to be tough to get into. The 2010 selection is Lawrence Moten.

Moten was a swingman for Syracuse from 1992 through 1995. He was one of the most poised freshman in Syracuse basketball history, if not the most poised, showing the character and understanding of a fourth year senior the first day on the court.

Moten never seemed to force the action, he let the game come to him. And yet, at the end of the night, he would be the leading scorer. His style of play was very smooth on the court earning him the moniker ‘Poetry in Moten’.

Lawrence Moten was highly recognizable on the court. He wore his socks knee high (very old school), and had a silver dollar size bald spot on the side of his head (apparently stress related). Moten would earn recognition his freshman year, earning Big East Rookie of the Year accolades, beating out other notable freshman Donyell Marshall (UConn) and Michael Smith (Providence). Moten averaged 18.2 ppg that season.

Six times in his career he would score 30 or more points, including a career high 36 against Villanova. He would be named All Big East First team 3 times, and would finish his career as the All Time Leading Scorer at Syracuse and in the Big East Conference (Records that both still stand today).

Moten’s importance to the Syracuse program can not be stated simply by the awards and statistics his compiled. Syracuse went 85-36 during his career; nothing record breaking about that, though a very solid record. But Syracuse was under investigation from the NCAA for rules violations when Moten came to Syracuse, and that investigation chased a lot of recruits away. Moten, himself, was not highly rated, and chose to stay with the program, even though it would be banned from the NCAA tournament his sophomore year. Moten’s play and leadership kept the program solid and competitive in the extremely difficult Big East conference, and that kept the program relevant for other players to come to Syracuse. That importance cannot be undersold.

Moten would be drafted in the 2nd round by the Vancouver (now Memphis) Grizzlies in the 2005 NBA Draft. He would have three unremarkable seasons in the NBA before moving on to the ABA and International Basketball.

Congratulations to Lawrence Moten, the 2010 inductee into the OrangeHoops Hall of Fame.