Thursday, November 11, 2021

Veterans Day 2021

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.

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Syracuse Basketball Brothers

Syracuse University has the well publicized all-family affair this year with Coach Jim Boeheim, and his two sons Buddy and Jimmy playing on the squad.  They are the 14th set of brothers to play for the Orangemen, and the sixth set to play on the same team.

Chronologically, these are the other sets of brothers.

Max Riehl was a four year player/three year starter for the Orangemen from 1905 to 1908.  He was known as being a good ball handler, and handled the critical center position his last two seasons.  His younger brother Albert played guard for the Orangemen from 1911 to 1913.  Albert played a vital reserve his first two seasons and was a starter his senior year. 

David Lee played forward for the Orangemen for two seasons, 1906 and 1907.  He was the second leading scorer his senior year, and the top scorer from the floor, averaging over 6 points a game.  His younger brother Matt played three seasons from 1908 to 1910.  He was a sharp shooting forward, and led the Orangemen in scoring his junior and senior seasons, as well as serving as the team captain his senior year.  Matt scored over 328 points in his career, while David scored over 50.

Walt Darby was a starting guard for Syracuse in 1909, and played another season.  His brother Sam played one game in 1913.

John Cronauer was one of the stars of the 1918 Helms Foundation National Champion Orangemen.  John was second in overall scoring, and the leading scorer from the field averaging 8.8 points per game   His older brother Ed played with him that same season primarily in a reserve role.  John died suddenly of heart failure at the age of 20 the start of his junior year.  Ed, on the other hand, lived to be 100.  John scored 141 points in his brief career, while Ed scored 4.

Ev Katz was a vital part of the famed Reindeer Five squad from 1929 to 1931.  He was a steady scorer, an extremely fast player, and was credited with being one of the first players in the country to utilize the one handed set shot. His younger brother Milt would play basketball with Everett for two seasons, in a reserve role.  Ev would score 470 points in his three seasons, while Milt scored 1 point.

Elmer Maister was an outstanding defensive guard who started for three seasons from 1932 to 1934. His older brother Mike was a star on the freshman football and basketball teams. He was slated to be a starter on the basketball team in 1926, but had academic issues and played only one game.  Elmer scored 179 points, while Mike failed to score.

Jim Bruett was a reserve center on the basketball team for one season 1938, scoring 5 points.  His younger brother Bill was a reserve guard for three seasons from 1939 to 1941 scoring 4 points.

John Beck was a solid reserve for the Orange for three seasons., playing both the guard and center positions from 1948 to 1950.  His older brother Charles was a reserve guard for two seasons, from 1942 to 1943.  John scored 150 points while Charles scored 2.

Joe Glacken played for the Orangemen during the World War II era, with two seasons pre-war (1942-1943), and one season post war (1947). Joe led the team in scoring his sophomore season despite primarily being a reserve player.  He would be the team captain his senior season, though he was a reserve.  His younger brother Ed joined him on the team in 1947, also playing in the majority of the games, but as a reserve.  The Glacken brothers also played on the Syracuse baseball team together.

Three Stark brothers played basketball for the Orange. Mike was the oldest, and played four seasons from 1946 to 1950.  Mike had excellent shooting skills, and though small, he was a spark to the offense.  Pat was a guard for two seasons 1952 and 1953, but he played basketball after the football season end. Pat had All East All-American status in football at quarterback his junior and senior seasons.  Lou was the youngest, and was a reserve in 22 games in 1955 and 1956.  Mike scored 257 points in his career, Pat 161, and Lou 11. 

Bill and Bob Finney played in 1972.  Bill was a key reserve his sophomore year, and a starter for most of his junior year.  He would be injured and miss the 1971 season, returning in 1972 to join his brother.  Bob was a seldom used reserve his sophomore and junior seasons, and would transfer after his junior year.  Bill would score 324 points in his career, Bob scored 8.

Mike and Jimmy Lee were by far the best brother combination in Syracuse history.  Both scored over 1,000 points in their careers (Mike with 1,351, Jimmy with 1,165). Mike was a three year starting forward, known for his tenacious rebounding and prolific scoring.  He was a solid free throw shooter making 78.7% of his attempts, including 34 consecutive.  Jimmy a significant contributor all three seasons, he played, and a starter his junior and senior seasons.  Jimmy was a terrific free throw shooter making 85.9% of his free throw attempts, and was well known for his perimeter shooting. He made a clutch 18 foot jumper to beat North Carolina in the huge upset in the 1975 NCAA tournament. The two brothers played together in the 1973 season.

Currently the Orange has Shane Feldman on the team as a walk on guard.  He played one game as a freshman in 2021. His older brother Ky was a walk on guard for four seasons 2016 through 2019, scoring 10 points.  

Of the brothers mentioned above six played together:  Jimmy and Mike Lee for one year, Joe and Ed Glacken for one year, Everett and Milt Katz for two years, Bill and Bob Finney for one season, and John and Ed Cronauer for one season.   Jimmy and Mike Lee led the Orangemen to a 24-5 record in 1973 and an NCAA berth.  The brothers averaged 25.9 points, 4.7 assists, and 7.7 rebounds per game. 

If Buddy and Jimmy can have success together like the Lee brothers, this should be a good year for Syracuse.

Sunday, November 07, 2021

Orangemen Prolific at Fouling

Bourama Sidibe is starting his fifth season of basketball for the Syracuse Orange, albeit delayed due to another leg injury. Injuries are not the only thing that has limited Sidibe's time on the court, for even if he had been healthy another factor would have come into play: Fouls.  

Sidibe is the most foul prone player in Syracuse basketball history, averaging a foul for every 5.28 minutes of playing timing.  That pace would have him foul out of a typical basketball game at about 26 1/2 minutes.   Sidibe has picked up 274 fouls in his career in only 1,448 minutes.   He has also managed to foul out of 14 games.  He did improve his numbers his junior season when he started all year, averaging 5.85 minutes per foul.

The two closest players on the list to Sidibe are Jeremy McNeil with 5.42 minutes per foul (383 fouls in 2076 minutes) and Derek Brower also with 5.42 (214 fouls in 1160 minutes).  

The most prolific fouler in Syracuse history is Otis Hill with 460 fouls in his career and 28 disqualifications.  Andre Hawkins has the distinction of the most disqualifications with 35 in his career.  Hawkins was an undersized center who used his brute strength to battle big men like Georgetown's Patrick Ewing and St. John's Bill Wennington.

Mike Hopkins is the more foul profile guard in Syracuse history, averaging a foul every 7.21 minutes (309 fouls in 2229 minutes).  Hopkins was known as being a scrappy player, and the foul rate would back that up.

This is a chart of the top 10 Syracuse basketball players based on minutes per fouls.

The top 100 Player Fouls for Syracuse is here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

OrangeHoops Hall of Fame 2021

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 ten 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), and Hakim Warrick (2020).  So the list now stands at 19. Another year has passed, and now it is time for the 2021 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 three new eligible candidates (using the fifteen year rule): J.J. Bedle, Louie McCroskey, and Gerry McNamara.

J.J. Bedle was a wide receiver on the Syracuse football team.  He would play as a walk-on guard for the basketball team his freshman year, playing in only one game and failing to score. Bedle would transfer to Delaware State after his freshman year.  He died tragically young at the age of 21 in 2007.

Louie McCroskey was a three year swingman for the Orange.  He was a starter for part of his sophomore season.  McCroskey was a strong defender, but never flourished offensively for the Orange.  He would transfer to Marist College after his senior season.

Gerry McNamara was one of the most popular players in Syracuse basketball history.  The four year starter was the most prolific three point shooter in Syracuse history.  He made six three point shots in the Syracuse championship win over Kansas during his freshman year.  'GMac' would set the Syracuse career records for most three point baskets and highest free throw percentage.   He finished as the fourth all-time leading scorer in school history, as well as third in assists, and second in steals.  He scored 43 points against Brigham Young in the 2004 NCAA Tournament.  He lifted the Orange to the 2006 Big East Championship, earning the tournament MVP with heroics in each of the four games the Orange played.  

Gerry McNamara would make my top 10 list of eligible 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, Leo Rautins, Rafael Addison, Jason Hart, Preston Shumpert and Gerry McNamara.

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 on 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.

Hackett was a powerful forward who could run the court well. He was a great rebounder and terrific scorer near the hoop.  He led the Orangemen in scoring his senior year and helped lead Syracuse to its first Final Four in 1975.

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.

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 2021 inductee is easily Gerry McNamara.

McNamara, as mentioned above, was highly accoladed while at Syracuse, and was a crowd favorite.  His resume of game heroics is lengthy over his four season career.  GMac returned to Syracuse as a graduate assistant coach in 2009, and was elevated to an assistant coach in 2011.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

A Rule Change to Steal from TBT

The Basketball Tournament (TBT) has done an admirable job of creating a fun basketball tournament during mid-summer.   The Elam ending ensures a game winning basket for every game.  Boeheim's Army was fortunate enough to have six game winning baskets last summer on the way to its first TBT championship.

I am not, however, a fan of taking the Elam ending for college basketball. It is a great gimmick for TBT, but forcing a game winning shot for every game waters down the "game winning shot".  With an Elam ending you have no half court shot buzzer beaters; the Pearl shot never occurs, nor does the Ennis heroics over Pitt.  With an Elam ending, dramatic overtime victories do not  happen. No memorable six game overtime victory over UConn.  

The Elam ending is not the concept I want to steal from TBT.  I do want college basketball to take the concept of a team in the bonus getting one free throw and possession of the ball when fouled in a non-shooting act.  This greatly discourages an opposing team from fouling in order to stop the clock and get possession back. They would have to play good defense, and hope they can stop the opposing team cleanly.  They could foul on a shot attempt, but that gives the opposing team two free throws, and of course you always risk a team making the shot attempt and getting the plus one.

I would also add an addendum to the rule, and allow a team the option of one free throw and possession, OR two free throws and give up possession.  I assume the latter option would seldom be chosen, but it would eliminate the scenario of a team deliberating fouling a non-shooter with seconds left on the clock, to prevent a team from getting a shot off in a two point game. 

Teams would have a difficult time deliberately fouling themselves back into the game.  This would keep the pace of the ending of a game flowing freely, and I think greatly reduce the long drag a foul fest can have.

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Congratulations to Boeheim's Army 2021 TBT Champions

Boeheim's Army, the team comprised of six Syracuse alumni and four guests, won the The Basketball Tournament (TBT) last night with a dramatic 69-67 win over Team 23.  Keifer Sykes hit the game winning three point shot in the Elam ending to give Boeheim's Army the win. Boeheim's Army beat out 63 other teams to win the $1 million prize.

The game was a fun, tight affair for most the night, with a lot of aggressive defense and some clutch shooting.  

It was truly a magical Syracuse affair as four members of the Boeheim family were in attendance:  Jim,  Juli, Jimmy Jr, and Buddy.  All three Syracuse assistant coaches were also there:  Adrian Autry, Gerry McNamara, and Allen Griffin.  Syracuse booster and Boeheim's Army chairman of operations Adam Weitsman pledged $1 million donation to local Syracuse charities in honor of the win.

Tyrese Rice led all of BA's scorers with 86 points and 18 assists.  Chris McCullough was right behind him with 81 points, and a team leading 42 rebounds.  D.J. Kennedy, the TBT's all-time leading scorer, and 5-time tournament champion, had 35 points and 42 rebounds.

Keifer Sykes was the hottest shooter for Boeheim's Army hitting 50% of his three point attempts in the tournament, with 11 baskets in 22 attempts.  Eric Devendorf also hit 50%, making 4 of 8.

C.J. Fair has the best +/- for BA in the tournament with a +38, despite playing in the third fewest minutes, and half of what the leaders played.

A special thanks for the memories to Eric Devendorf and Tyler Lydon, who both have announced that they are retiring from professional basketball after last night.

Below is the composite scoring for all of Boeheim's Army over the six game tournament.

Sunday, August 01, 2021

Boeheim's Army Combined Stats after 5 games

 Boeheim's Army has made the TBT Championship game, to be played this Tuesday night against Team 23.  

Here are the total stats of the Boeheim Army's players after five games: