Monday, January 01, 2024

NET Ranking Black Magic

There are several elements to the NET ranking.  The Quad element is supposed to be a heavily weighted portion, but the current results for Syracuse are baffling.

Here are the Orange's NET ranking compared to two teams they have beaten, and a third team. The data is their record for each quadrant, as of 12-31-2023.

Syracuse #78 rank  0-2 Q1, 2-1 Q2, 6-0 Q3, and 1-0 Q4
Pittsburgh  #41 rank  0-2 Q1, 0-1 Q2, 4-1 Q3, and 5-0 Q4
Oregon  #71 rank 0-1 Q1, 0-1 Q2, 6-1 Q3, and 4-0 Q4
SMU  #45 rank 0-3 Q1, 0-1 Q2, 2-0 Q3, 6-0 Q4

In theory Q1 losses don't hurt you, and Q4 wins don't help.  Meanwhile Q1 wins are huge, and Q4 losses hurt.

None of these teams have Q1 wins.  Syracuse has played only one Q4 game, as opposed to the 5, 4, and 6 of the other teams. Pitt and Oregon both have a Q3 loss (bad); Syracuse has not bad losses. 

Syracuse is 2-3 in Q1&Q2 games. Pitt is 0-3, Oregon 0-2, and SMU 0-4.

Syracuse is 7-0 in Q3&Q4.  Pitt is 9-1, Oregon 10-1, SMU 8-0.

Someone countered with me the other day that the large margin of victories for the other teams must be coming into play.  But the NCAA said in 2018 they cap margin of victory at 10 points, so that should have no impact on the Orange.

Here's the Orange margin of victory so far this season after 12 games (Chaminade doesn't count for the NET).

Point margin: +11, +12, +4, -17, -19, +23, -22, +11, +12, +20, +12, +8

All of the Orange wins except for Colgate and Pitt hit the cap.  Hard to believe the opposition is doing more.

I know they take computer modeling into play, but that's all secretive, but also supposed to be a smaller portion of the ranking.  The black box magic going on is baffling.  Perhaps small sample sizes are coming into play, but we are over a third of the way through the schedule.

The Orange have more quality wins, no bad losses, a tougher schedule, better overall record, and are capping the point spread margin, yet are lower ranked, significantly in 2 cases, than Pitt, Oregon, and SMU.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Let's Play Two

On December 4th, 1948 the Syracuse Orangemen did something unthinkable by today's basketball standards: they played both ends of a basketball double header.   They beat the University of Toronto 76-34 in the first game, and Ithaca College 81-41 in the second game at the Syracuse Coliseum.

Ed Stickel
Ed Stickel
Coach Lew Andreas used the same starting five for both games: Jack Kiley, Ed Stickel, Royce Newell, Ed Rosen, and Francis Miller. Kiley led Syracuse in the first game with 12 points, while Stickel led the second game with 19 pts. The two both score 25 points each in the two games combined.

Andreas used 19 players in the first game, and 17 in the second. 20 different players saw action for the Orangemen that day; 15 of them scored.   Bob Savage was the leading reserve with a combined 20 points.

The Orangemen wore their white jerseys for the first game and their orange for the second.

The combined box score for the Orangemen saw a 157-75 score, with 63 field goals, 33 of 59 free throws (56%), and 36 fouls.

Monday, December 25, 2023

Merry Christmas!

 I'm not a poet, so I asked AI to put something together a couple poems for me with some guidance.  Some miscues, but better than what I'd do.  I thought the first was more poetic and in the spirit, but the second more factually correct.  Enjoy!

Version 1

'Twas the night before tip-off, in Syracuse so bright,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a snowflake in flight.
The jerseys were hung in the lockers with care,
In hopes that a victory soon would be there.

The Orange faithful nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of three-pointers danced in their heads.
With memories of greatness, so storied and vast,
A legacy of triumph, from the present to past.

In the Carrier Dome, where the Orange call home,
Echoes of greatness forever are known.
From the Pearl's half-court magic, a legend so bold,
To Roosevelt Bouie and Louis Orr, pure orange and gold.

Six overtimes etched in the annals of lore,
Against Connecticut, a battle galore.
Sherman Douglas dishing, with grace and with flair,
To Steven Thompson, soaring through the air.

Dave Bing's brilliance, Vic Hanson's might,
Billy Gabor's grace, oh what a sight.
GMac's sharpshooting, from beyond the arc,
Three-pointers falling, lighting the dark.

In the annals of history, a name that does ring,
Carmelo Anthony, oh how he'd swing.
A champion's heart, a prodigious might,
For Syracuse, he'd shine so bright.

And Hakeem Warrick, with wings unfurled,
A blocked shot heard 'round the basketball world.
In the waning moments, with destiny stark,
Sealing the victory, leaving a mark.

As the orange and blue take the court once again,
With memories of glory, and dreams to attain.
In the heart of New York, where legends are spun,
The Orange march on, their story not done.

So here's to the Orange, to victories in flight,
Merry basketball to all, and to all a good night!

Version 2

'Twas the night before tip-off, in the Dome so grand,
Not a creature was stirring, across Orange land.
The jerseys were hung in the locker room with care,
In hopes that victory soon would be there.

The fans were nestled all snug in their seats,
With visions of greatness, and history to meet.
And Coach in his jacket, with clipboard in hand,
Prepared for the battle, a game to withstand.

When out on the court, there arose such a clatter,
Orange faithful sprang up to see what was the matter.
Away to the sidelines, they flew in a flash,
Cheering for Syracuse, their beloved Orange clash.

The Pearl at half court, a magician with the ball,
Dribbling and weaving, leaving defenders in a sprawl.
With a flick of his wrist, a shot from afar,
A lengthy shot splashed, like a shooting star.

Roosevelt Bouie and Louis Orr, giants of the past,
Legends of Orange, memories that forever last.
Six overtimes against UConn, a battle for the ages,
Heart-stopping moments, written in the basketball pages.

Sherman Douglas dishing, to Steven Thompson so fleet,
A connection so potent, opponents faced defeat.
Dave Bing's smooth moves, Vic Hanson's grace,
Billy Gabor's brilliance, each a legend to embrace.

GMac's three-point shooting, a rain of threes,
From beyond the arc, setting nets at ease.
Carmelo Anthony, a name that shines bright,
A national championship, a crowning delight.

And in the Dome's rafters, Hakeem Warrick's block,
A moment in time, like a ticking clock.
A rejection so powerful, a title to secure,
A symbol of Orange strength, forever endure.

So here's to the Orange, past and present combined,
A legacy of triumph, in each game defined.
As the ball tips off, and the crowd starts to roar,
Merry basketball to all, forever Orange, evermore!

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Five Historically Interesting Games for the Orange

The following are summaries from five Syracuse basketball games that were memorable for various reasons.

Syracuse 57, Fordham 22 January 14, 1939

Coach Lew Andreas always played a deep bench, but he went to the extreme on this day. Syracuse led 49-21 with about 8 minutes left in the game.  Andreas, who was also the athletic director, started liberally substituting players for the Orangemen.  In the end, 21 different Syracuse athletes played for the Orangemen that day.

Wilmeth Sidat-Singh led all scorers that day with 17 points. Bobby Stewart was second with 13.


Syracuse 106, Oswego State Teachers College 25 December 8, 1945

Syracuse scored 100+ points in a game for the first time, setting a school record scoring margin of 81 points.  Forward Billy Gabor would set a then-school record of 36 points with 15 field goals and 6 free throws.  15 Orangemen would play with 14 of them scoring.


Syracuse 64, Temple 47 February 9, 1952

Frank Reddout set a school record with 34 rebounds against the Owls, including 20 in the first half. Reddout would also lead all scorers with 18 points.  The Orangemen held Temple to 4 of 35 field goal shooting in the first half.


Syracuse 144, Siena 92 January 17, 1979

The Orangemen set a school record scoring 144 points in a victory of Siena.   The Orangemen led 69-38 at the half and scored a school record 75 points in the second half.  8 Orangemen scored in double figures with reserve guard Hal Cohen leading the way with 25 points.   The Orangemen made 61% of their field goals, and held Siena to 41%.  Syracuse had 36 assists on  55 field goals.


Syracuse 127, UConn 117 March 12th, 2009

This game is still fresh to most of us, though it occurred 14+ years ago.  #18 ranked Orange played the #3 ranked Huskies in the quarter finals of the Big East tournament.  Syracuse thought they won a classic game in regulation when Eric Devendorf hit a half court shot at the buzzer.  Replays showed however that the ball was still on his fingertips as time expired. 

What happened next was a historical 6-overtime game.  The Orange would never lead in overtime until the sixth period.  Syracuse’s Jonny Flynn played 67 of the total 70 minutes with 34 points, 11 assists, and 6 steals. Paul Harris lead both teams with 22 rebounds.

Four Orange players would foul out as well as four Huskies, before the Orange won 127-117.


Saturday, November 11, 2023

Veterans Day 2023

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)
Phil Lipetz
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
Dick Suprunowicz

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.

Friday, November 10, 2023

History of Syracuse First Year Head Coaches

 Adrian Autry becomes the eighth head coach for Syracuse's Men's basketball team. The first year has had different levels of success.

Prof. John A.R. Scott was the first head coach, with his first season 1903-1904.   Scott would go 11-8 his first year, winning his first two games.  Scott took over a team that was 1-8 the prior season, and he would go 64-54 in his career.

Ed Dollard would become the second SU coach in the 1911-1912 season.  Dollard would go an impressive 11-3 his first season, winning his first two games.  Dollard would have big wins over Colgate and Penn to end the season.  He took over a team that was 6-11 the previous year.  Dollard would go 152-58 in his 13 year career at Syracuse, including a Helms Foundation National Championship in 1917-18 season.

Lew Andreas
Lew Andreas

Lew Andreas
became Syracuse's 3rd coach with the 1924-1925 season.  Andreas would have an impressive first year going 15-2, winning his first 11 games.  His first season had two big wins over Colgate.  He took over a team that was 8-10 the previous year.  Andreas would go 358-134 in his career, with two appearances in the NIT, and a Helms Foundation National Championship in 1925-1926 season behind Vic Hanson.

Marc Guley was Syracuse's 4th coach starting with the 1950-1951 season.  Guley would lead the team to the post season his first year going 19-9.  He would win his first three games.  He took over a team that was 18-9 the previous year.  His team beat #14 Toledo, and #6 Bradley on its way to winning the National Campus Tournament Championship.  Guley would go 136-192 in 12 years at Syracuse, with one NCAA Tournament and one National Campus Tournament.  His last season was the worst in Syracuse history with a 2-22 record.

Fred Lewis was Syracuse's 5th coach starting with the 1962-1963 season.  Lewis would go 8-13 his first season, a marked improvement over the 2-22 the previous year.  Lewis would win his first game before losing his second.   Lewis was 91-57 in his six years at Syracuse with 2 NIT and 1 NCAA appearance.

Roy Danforth was Syracuse's 6th coach starting with the 1968-1969 season.  Danforth would go 9-16 his first season, losing his first five games before beating Penn State 71-51.  He took over a team that was 11-14 the previous season.  Danforth would go 148-71 over 8 seasons, with 4 NCAA bids, 2 NIT bids, and a surprise Final Four in 1975.

Jim Boeheim was Syracuse's 7th head coach starting with the 1976-1977 season. Boeheim would go 26-4 his first season, and took the Orangemen to the 2nd round of the NCAA. He would win his first regular season game, before losing his second to West Virginia.  He took over a team that was 20-9 the previous season.  Boeheim would go 1116-441 in his 47 year career with the Orange, going to 35 NCAA tournaments, 7 NIT, 5 Final Four, and the 2003 National Championship.

Adrian Autry is Syracuse 8th and current coach starting with the 2023-2024 season. Autry's career is just beginning; he is already off to a good start at 2-0.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

OrangeHoops Hall of Fame 2023

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 several 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), Etan Thomas (2015), Joe Schwarzer (2016), Lew Andreas (2017), Carmelo Anthony (2018), Stephen Thompson (2019), Hakim Warrick (2020), Gerry McNamara (2021), and Rudy Hackett (2022).  So the list now stands at 21. Another year has passed, and now it is time for the 2023 inductee.

I established my rules for the OrangeHoops Hall of Fame back in 2007 and you can catch up on them here. 2021 does have five new eligible candidates (using the fifteen year rule): Devin Brennan-McBride, Ryan Cahak, Donte' Greene, Mike Williams, and Josh Wright.

Devin Brennan-McBride was a reserve center for the Orange for two seasons. A recurring injury from high school hampered him further in college, and he would play only six games his freshman year scoring 5 points. He would play no games his sophomore season before leaving school.

Ryan Cahak was a three year walk-on guard for the Orange. He did not play any games his first two season, and played four his third year. He did not score any points.

Donte' Greene was a highly touted freshman forward. He led the team in scoring his only season at Syracuse scoring 17.7 ppg.  He was a good perimeter shooting power forward, but his tendency to play on the perimeter hurt the Orange's inside game.  He was named to the  All Big East 2nd Team and All Rookie Team.  He was drafted in the 1st round of the NBA draft after his freshman year by the Memphis Grizzlies, with the 28th overall pick.  They would trade him to Houston, who would trade him to Sacramento.  Greene would play four seasons in the NBA scoring 1,541 points for an average of 6.1 ppg.

Mike Williams was a star wide receiver for the Syracuse football team, and would play as a reserve on the basketball team his sophomore year.  He played in 4 games and scored 7 points.  Williams faced off the field disciplinary issues that resulted in him being suspended his junior year from the football team. He would leave the football team midseason his senior year.   For his Orange career he had 133 receptions in 29 games with 20 touchdowns.  He was drafted 4th in the 2010 NFL draft, and was a starter his rookie year for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Williams would play in the NFL for five seasons, with 223 receptions and 26 touchdowns in 63 games.

Josh Wright was a point guard for the Orange for four seasons. Wright did not play much his first two years, but became the starting point guard his junior year. He struggled as the Orange point guard, and was replaced by Eric Devendorf by the end of the season. Wright would play only four games his senior year before leaving for personal reasons.  He scored 392 points and had 217 assists in his Syracuse career.

None of those players would crack my list of top 10 candidates.

I think this year’s viable top 10 candidates come down to the following, listed chronologically: Lew Castle, Jon Cincebox, Dennis DuVal, Jimmy Lee, Rudy Hackett, Danny Schayes, Leo Rautins, Rafael Addison, Dave Johnson, Jason Hart, and Preston Shumpert.

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.

Cincebox was one of 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.

DuVal was a flashy point guard for Syracuse in the early 70s.  When he graduated from Syracuse he was only second to Dave Bing in career points scored.  He was a three year started and averaged 18.6 ppg.  DuVal was a third team All-American his senior year

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.

Schayes was a skilled center with a good shooting touch, and solid overall basketball skills. He unfortunately sat behind the legendary Roosevelt Bouie his first three seasons, but he led the Orange his senior year in scoring and rebounding, earning an All Big East First Team selection.  

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.

Johnson was a 6'5" swingman during the heights of Syracuse's program.  He was a defensive replacement his freshman and sophomore year, and would development into one of the Orange's primary offensive threats his junior and senior year. Johnson would earn All Big East First Team his senior year.

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.

Shumpert was one of the best three point shooters in Syracuse history, with terrific range.  He was a streaky shooter and carried the Orangemen to many victories, seven times in his career scoring 30+ points in a game.  He would be named to the Big East First Team both his junior and senior seasons, averaging 20.7 points per game his senior year.  He was not a strong defensive player, and there were questions about his temperament, particularly related to issues with DeShaun Williams.  Shumpert is currently the 8th all time leading scorer at SU.

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.

Ten very good candidates, and a couple of those players are among my all-time personal favorites.  The 2023 inductee is Rafael Addison.

Addison was an unheralded freshman when he came to Syracuse but made an impact as a reserve his freshman year, working as the sixth man, and averaging 8.4 ppg.  He earned recognition on the All Big East Rookie team.

He would lead the team in scoring and rebounding his sophomore year with 17.7 ppg and 6.0 rpg. He scored 31 points in a first round Big East Tournament win over UConn.  

Addison was gaining a reputation as being one of the most underrated players in the country his junior season, again leading the Orange in scoring with 18.4 ppg.  He would earn All Big East First Team recognition his junior year.

Addison had a good chance of breaking Dave Bing's school career scoring record his senior year. However, he injured his leg early in the winter, and it hampered his play for the rest of the season, sharply decreasing his effectiveness. He would end his career seven point short of Bing's record.

Addison was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1986 NBA draft. He would play one season in Phoenix, before playing in Italy for five years, where he shined. He came back to the NBA in 1991 and played five more seasons.