Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Paschal Chukwu's Big Numbers Against Duke

Paschal Chukwu had arguably the best game of his career in Syracuse's upset win over Duke on Monday night.  The 7'2" center pulled down 18 rebounds, scored 10 points, and made two clutch free throws down the stretch to ensure the win.  He did that against a Duke front line that had Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett.  Both those gentleman had big nights too; Chukwu wasn't stopping them.  But he was impacting the ability of the rest of Duke's players to drive the paint.  They had to be content shooting from the perimeter, and the Orange pushed them back and dared them to beat them from there; Duke failed.
Would you believe...
Paschal Chukwu
Paschal Chukwu

...that Paschal Chukwu has had twelve games at Syracuse with 10+ rebounds?
Chukwu has definitely regressed this season; I think we would all agree he isn’t playing at the same level as he did last year.
Yet, if you look at his productivity per 40 minutes, it is up this year:
8.6 points vs 7.9 points
12.8 rebounds vs 10.0 rebounds
3.7 blocks vs 3.6 blocks
65% FG shooting both years
63% FT shooting both years

7 steals vs 1.0 steals
His turnovers and his fouls are both up this year. 
2.3 turnovers vs 1.6 turnovers
6.8 fouls vs 4.6

His is maddeningly inconsistent, last year and this year. He misses so many shots he should make, and has more turnovers than he should for as little as he touches the ball. 17 turnovers this year and 31 field goal attempts. Just maddening.
Yet, in many ways he’s been productive at times, particularly in the rebounding and shot alteration capacity. He’s never met the expectations I think we had, but he’s also far from a bust.

Friday, January 04, 2019

New York State of Mind

We often hear about Syracuse playing local schools, and they do have a storied history regarding playing teams from New York state.  Since 1900, the Orange have played 46 different New York teams, with Colgate well established at the top. 

Here is a list of all 46 teams, what the Orange’s record is against that team and how many games they have played. 

1. Colgate 126-45, 171 games
2. Cornell 93-31, 124 games
3. St. John’s 51-40, 91 games
4. Niagara 53-28, 81 games
5. Canisius 46-24, 70 games
6. Rochester 53-11, 64 games
7. Fordham 28-16, 44 games
8. Buffalo 28-6, 34 games
9. St. Lawrence 26-8, 34 games
10. Army 19-11, 30 games
11. St. Bonaventure 25-4, 29 games
12. Manhattan 21-7, 28 games
13. NYU 9-12, 21 games
14. Clarkson 17-1, 18 games
15. RPI 13-5, 18 games
16. Union 15-3, 18 games
17. Columbia 11-3, 14 games
18. CCNY 5-8, 13 games
19. Hobart 11-0, 11 games
20. Albany 8-0, 8 games
21. Alfred 8-0, 8 games
22. Siena 8-0, 8 games
23. Hamilton 6-1, 7 games
24. LeMoyne 6-0, 6 games
25. Binghamton 5-0, 5 games
26. Iona 5-0, 5 games
27. Sampson Naval Training 3-2, 5 games
28. Buffalo State 4-0, 4 games
29. Cortland State 4-0, 4 games
30. Oswego State 3-1, 4 games
31. Potsdam 4-0, 4 games
32. St Francis College 4-0, 4 games
33. Utica 4-0, 4 games
34. CW Post 3-0, 3 games
35. Hofstra 3-0, 3 games
36. Ithaca College 3-0, 3 games
37. Wagner 3-0, 3 games
39. Queens College 2-0, 2 games
39. Schenectady Company E 0-2, 2 games
40. Syracuse All-Stars 1-0, 1 game
41. Batavia YMCA 1-0, 1 game
42. Brooklyn College 1-0, 1 game
43. Brooklyn Polytechnic 1-0, 1 game
44. Cazenovia College 1-0, 1 game
45. Long Island University 1-0, 1 game
46. NY State Teachers College 1-0, 1 game

Hobart gets the distinction of the most games against the Orange without the Orange losing a game, a perfect 11-0.

Colgate has won more games against Syracuse than any other New York team.  Of course, 45 wins in 171 attempts isn’t very impressive, but hey, they hold the record.

NYU (9-12), CCNY (5-8), and Schenectady Company E (0-2) get the distinction of being the only New York  teams with a winning record against Syracuse.

If we want to see the top 10 New York teams that Jim Boeheim has coached against (1976-1977 season to present), then we have:

1. St. John’s 65 games
2. Colgate 32 games
3. Cornell 32 games
4. St. Bonaventure 24 games
5. Canisius 20 games
6. Siena 8 games
7. Niagara 7 games
8. Fordham 7 games
9. Buffalo 7 games
10. Albany 7 games

St. Bonaventure moves up the list from 11th to 4th.  Several teams in the top 10 all-time dropped off.  Surprisingly, only 5 NY schools routinely played Syracuse during Jim Boeheim’s 43 year coaching career.


Sunday, December 16, 2018

Where to Rank Tyus Battle?

I honestly don’t know where to rank Tyus Battle in terms of all time Syracuse players.  Fortunately, there still a majority of this season to be played out.  Right now, I think he’s been a very good player on an offensively challenged team, and that has inflated some of his statistics.

Tyus Battle Syracuse Orange
Tyus Battle
Syracuse has played a lot of close games the past three years, and therefore a lot of opportunities for game winning heroics have existed.  And to Battle’s credit, he has taken advantage of most of those opportunities and succeeded.  That’s a plus for him.  

Battle is very good at isolation offense, and that has helped Syracuse when the offense has stagnated.   He is decent in the zone defense at Syracuse; not outstanding, but definitely up to the task of playing the position well and there’s not much to criticize there.   He does have only 9 steals so far this year… which is an anomaly for him, and very low for a SU guard after 10 games.  Looking back over recent history, Brandon Triche was the last guard to average that few steals, and he played about 2/3 the minutes of Battle.

He is not a solid three point shooter, he doesn’t rebound as well as you would like a 2-guard to rebound, and he has low assist totals for a guy who plays 40 minute almost every game.  He does not play well when there is poor point guard play, indicating his is dependent on his teammates to help him out. At the same time, I’ve always thought great players elevated those around them, and I’m not sure I see any of his teammates improve because of his presence on the court.  

If you compare him to a guy like Andy Rautins, the contrasts are obvious.  Battle has an NBA style of game and athleticism, so he may get a shot at the NBA, whereas Rautins was really never going to make that league.  But as collegiate players, Rautins had a better rounded game as a senior than Battle does as a junior.  Rautins made nearly 41% of this three point shots, averaged 4.9 assists per game, 3.4 rebounds per game, and had 2 steals a game.  Rautins couldn’t beat his man off the dribble and get into the lane like Battle can.  But he definitely improved the game of those around him, and he was outstanding at playing the top of the SU Zone.  

Back in 1961-1962 a sophomore guard name Carl Vernick led the Orangmen in scoring, by far, with 16.5 ppg.  He has 5.4 rebounds a game, and had a couple of games with 30+ points.  Vernick, while the best offensive player on that team, was an okay college player.  He looked much better because he had to step up compared to his teammates. That Orangemen team was 2-22 for the season, the worst in SU history.

New SU head coach Fred Lewis came aboard and started recruiting better players.  Vernick’s numbers started to drop, and by his senior year he averaged 2.6 ppg.  Players like Dave Bing, Chuck Richards, Norm Goldsmith and Jim Boeheim were simply better than him.  

I’m not suggesting Tyus Battle is Carl Vernick.  I just wanted to use Vernick as an illustration for a basketball player’s stats being highly influenced by the context of the team he is in and the players around him.  Vernick is an extreme example.

Battle is also not a Billy Owens, Carmelo Anthony or Lawrence Moten. Those guys took teams with young or little talent, and rose them to a very successful level.  SU’s teams with Battle have been borderline NCAA teams.  Owens carried the 1990-91 Orangemen to a 26-6 overall record, a 12-4 Big East season, with 23.2 ppg, 3.5 apg, and 11.6 rpg.  That team was 26-4 going into post season play.  Dave Johnson stepped up beside Owens to help with the offense, but make no mistake about how dominating Owens was.

Battle has shown moments of being able to dominate games; the second half of the recent Georgetown game is such an example.  It was amazing how he dominated the Hoyas in the second half; it was disappointing that as a junior guard, that it required being called out by his head coach at half time in order for him to step up. 

Battle is going to end up a top 15 scorer for Syracuse by the end of this year; if he stayed around another year he would move to #2 in scoring and have a shot at #1.    I don’t think it he is one of the best 15 players ever for the Orange; at least not on what I have seen yet.

Yet, he is going to leave us with many memorable game winning plays, a career full of heroic moments.  And I’m grateful for that.  

Thursday, December 13, 2018


My friends over at Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician (TNIAAM) are running a fundraiser to help financially disadvantaged kids attend the Camping World Bowl to see the Syracuse Orangemen take on the West Virginia Mountaineers.  

The goal is to get to $14,444.  TNIAAM is working with Sports 4 the Kids, which provides sports and recreational opportunities for Central Florida’s financially disadvantaged youth.

If you would like to contribute to the donations,  you can go to the GoFundMe Fundraiser for the event.

Please consider making a donation.  Most fans are donating $44 in honor of the Syracuse 44 Tradition, but any amount is appreciated.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Triple Overtime vs Colgate

Syracuse is currently on a 52 game winning streak against Colgate.  Most the recent games have not been close. During that streak, the closest game the two teams have played was a triple overtime game 53 years ago on Feb 16, 1965 in Hamilton, NY. The Orangemen won 93-90, with Dave Bing leading the way with 45 points.  His totalch was a school record until Bing scored 46 against Vanderbilt the following season.  Bill Smith would set the current record in 1971 with 47 against Lafayette. .Bing had 19 field goals, and 7 free throws in that game against Colgate.
Syracuse Orangeman Dave Bing
Dave Bing
The triple overtime game was Bing and Jim Boeheim’s junior year at Syracuse.  The Orangemen got off to a very poor start that season, losing six in a row and going 2-8. They would finish with an overall record of 13-10, going 11-2 down the stretch.
In the six games Bing played against Colgate he scored 24, 29, 23, 45, 35 and 31 points for an average of 31.2 ppg.
Syracuse last lost to Colgate on February 24, 1962 in a close 67-63 game.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

0-2 at Madison Square Garden - A rarity indeed

The Orange basketball team had high hopes for this season, returning all five starters from last year, plus adding some new recruits.  The season has a long way to go, but the results from Madison Square Garden this week were disappointing.

Syracuse Basketball Coach Roy Danforth
Roy Danforth
The Orange played in the 2K Empire Classic this week, and lost to former rival UConn 83-76 and #13 Oregon 80-65.  This is the first time in the Jim Boeheim era that the Orange have lost two games in a preseason tournament.  The last time the Orange lost two in a tournament was December 1968 at the Far West Basketball Classic in Portland, Oregon.  The Orangemen would lose to Washington State 86-67 on December 27th, and they would lose to Arizona State 93-77 on December 28th.  Syracuse's top returning player, Ernie Austin, was ineligible to play the first semester, and thus missed both these games.  .

1968-1969 was coach Roy Danforth's first season at Syracuse.  The team would finish the year 9-16, after starting out 4-14.  The team did finish strong winning five of the last seven games.   This is the last time the Syracuse men's basketball team had a losing season.  John Suder, Gerry McFadden, Bob Kouwe, Bill Case and Bill Smith were the starters that season.  Smith would lead the team in scoring with 19 ppg along with 11.6 rebounds a game.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Veteran's Day 2018

On this Veterans day, as I have done each year past, I would like to thank all those who have served our country, putting their lives on the line to do those tasks that need to be done. The Orange basketball team has had its share of veterans over the decades. And has been tradition at OrangeHoops, I would like to recognize those former basketball Orangemen who did serve. I acknowledge this is not a complete list; only those I know of (each year I add a few more). I imagine more Orangemen were in the service that I am omitting; if so, please post a recognition here! Also please feel free to recognize any other veterans in the comments.

In World War I, the following served:

Albert Ackley
Bradley Barnard
Ross Bibbens
Meyer Bloom
Jim Casey
Ed Cronauer
Charles Fasce
Russ Finsterwald
Loyal Greenman
Ken Harris
Ted Huntley
Bernie Kates
Ken Lavin
Nathan Malefski
Danny Martin
Harry Martin
Walter ‘Dutch’ Notman
Walter Peters
Elias Raff
Billy Rafter
Horace Ruffin
Courtland Sanney
Clifford Steele

In World War II, the following served:

Jim Ackerson
Earl Ackley
Lou Alkoff
John Baldwin (Balsavich)
John Balinsky
John Beaulieu
John Beck
Gene Berger
Milton 'Whitey' Bock
Leo Canale
Dick Casey
Larry Crandall
Wilbur Crisp
Dan DiPace
Les Dye
Bud Elford
Alton Elliott
John Emerich
Bill Estoff
Bob Felasco
Paul Ferris
Billy Gabor
Ed Glacken
Joe Glacken
Marc Guley
Mark Haller
LaVerne Hastings
Lew Hayman
Bill Hennemuth
Bill Hoeppel
Tom Huggins
George Jarvis
Ed Jontos
Walter Kiebach
Jim Konstanty
Christian Kouray
Stan Kruse (Kruszewski)
Glenn Loucks
Guy Luciano
Saul Mariaschin
Bob Masterson
Paul McKee
Don McNaughton
Tom McTiernan
Francis Miller
Joe Minsavage
Andy Mogish
Roy Peters
Hank Piro
Paul Podbielski
Edward Pond
Robert Popp
Phil Rakov
Joe Rigan
John Schroeder
Bill Schubert
Bob Shaddock
Wilmeth Sidat-Singh
Red Stanton
Mike Stark
Chester Stearns
Bobby Stewart
Joe Sylvestri
Charles Taggart
Ray Tice
Joe Weber
Ray Willmott
Bill Wyrick

In Korea the following served:

Reaves Baysinger, Jr
John Beaulieu
Bernie Eischen
Paul McKee
Paul Podbielski
Fred Serley

In Vietnam, the following served:

Reaves Baysinger, Jr
John Beaulieu
George Crofoot
Rick Dean
Sanford Salz

The following were veterans who served but were fortunate to miss a war era:

Vinnie Albanese
Art Barr
Mel Besdin
Rudy Cosentino
Roy Danforth
Ronnie Kilpatrick
George Koesters
Tom Jockle
Jack Malone
Frank Reddout
Eddie Rosen
Lou Stark Chuck Steveskey

Five of the aforementioned players deserve special note, as they sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.