|1937-1938 Syracuse Orangemen|
Coach: Lew Andreas
Syracuse had large talented junior class returning, along with some experienced seniors. Star Edgar Sonderman had graduated, and Syracuse did not have another tall center to replace him. Fortunately the college basketball rules changed during the off season, and this would be the first year where the center jump rule after each basket was eliminated; this was a rule that coach Lew Andreas had been championing since the early 1930s.
Syracuse would win its first five games of the year handedly, with forwards Bobby Stewart and Billy Thompson leading the way in scoring, and John Schroeder providing excellent backcourt play making. Andreas was using different lineups each game and wholesale substitutions, going deep into his bench. The Orangemen would lose their first game in a close score to Pittsburgh 49-47.
Junior center Mark Haller was developing into an outstanding player with his smooth perimeter shooting, and he would move into the starting lineup after the Panther loss. Dividends would immediately pay off as Haller would lead the team in scoring wins over tough opponents Michigan State and Penn. The Orangemen would have a costly win over Niagara; leading scorer Stewart would break his collarbone, and would miss the next three games as a result.
Haller would pick up the slack of Stewart being gone, and would lead the Orangemen to a surprisingly easy 43-26 win over Georgetown with 20 points. They played rival Colgate in the next game, and the game ended tied 45-45 in regulation. Neither team would score for most of the overtime period, until Thompson made a long jump shot. That would be the only points in the overtime period as Syracuse won 47-45.
Syracuse beat Army 36-31, but again it was a costly victory as Haller would injure his knee and Thompson would hurt his foot. The injuries started to be too numerous to overcome with Syracuse was playing four of their next five games on the road, and the Orangemen went into a losing streak, starting with a close loss to Western Reserve 34-32. Though Stewart would return, and Thompson and Haller played injured, Syracuse lost four of five games.
The Orangemen finished the season against traditional rival Colgate, and ended on a high note with a victory.
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