|1948-1949 Syracuse Orangemen|
Coach: Lew Andreas
Syracuse had a deep squad with twelve returning letterman, but Coach Lew Andreas felt it would all be dependent on how well the big men (Royce Newell, George Jarvis and Bob Savage) played. Ed Stickel returned for his second season as captain and would lead a deep group of guards, including talented sophomore Jack Kiley.
The Orangemen started the season with a double header, playing both Toronto and Ithaca in the same day at the Syracuse Coliseum. The Orangemen won both games easily, and set a coliseum record with 81 points in the nightcap against Ithaca. Kiley impressed everyone with a combined 25 points in the two games to lead all scorers. Kiley would score 31 points against Iowa State on December 22nd, and he did it in only 22 minutes. Coach Lew Andreas pulled Kiley from the game, with the Orangemen clearly in the the lead.
The Orangemen would be 6-1 at the Christmas break. The new year was not as kind to the Orangemen as they would win a game and then lose the next, alternating the wins and losses until early February. Against Lawrence Tech on January 8th, the Orange would once again break the Coliseum scoring record with 91 points. Kiley and reserve Dick Suprunowicz would score 26 and 20 points, respectively.
On February 6th, Syracuse would be upset 63-47 by heavy underdog Penn State. The Orangemen would outscore the Nittany Lions from the floor, but Penn State would shoot 31 of 41 from the free throw line, while Syracuse only 13 of 26.
Syracuse played Duquesne on February 9th, the top ranked team in the East. The Orangemen were losing at the half, but outscored the Dukes 20-5 down the stretch to win the game 65-58. That would help Syracuse break its string of won/loss as they would win two more in a row, the last one being against Seton Hall. The Pirates had a 47-40 lead late in the game, when Eddie Rosen entered for the first time. Rosen would hit four set shots down the stretch, as the Orangemen would comeback to win 56-54.
Their short winning streak would be broken a few days later with a loss to rival Colgate, 71-67, a loss that was not as close as the score seemed.
Kiley continued his hot shooting, and fans wondered all season if he would break Billy Gabor's single game scoring mark of 36 points. The record was indeed broken, though not by Kiley. Capt. Ed Stickel, instead, broke it with a 38 point effort against Canisius. Stickel hit 16 of 40 shots that night, and eclipsed the record, as the Orangemen went to a 70-58 win.
Stickel, Kiley and the Orangemen would finish out the season strong with three straight victories to end with an 18-7 record. The Orangemen would lose some top players to graduation for the next year, notably Stickel and Newell, but Andreas had played eighteen to nineteen players in many games, and Syracuse was returning an experienced team.
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