|1982-1983 Syracuse Orangemen|
|Overall||21-10||NCAA 2nd Round||Schedule Results|
Coach: Jim Boeheim
|Tony 'Red' Bruin||Sr||F||29||29||774||146||277||52.7%||104||154||67.5%||59||152||90||4||61||26||8||396||13.7||2.0||5.2|
Syracuse returned all five starters from the previous seasons Big East Champion squad. The senior tri-captains of Leo Rautins, Erich Santifer and Tony Bruin were going to be counted on to lead the way. Gene Waldron would continue to provide his steady influence on the court at the point, and Andre Hawkins would throw his body around down low. The additions of freshman Rafael Addison and Wendell Alexis would give the team much needed depth up front. The Orangemen started the season off 11-0, including impressive wins over the Houston Cougars and the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Orangemen were running the fast break well, with high percentage shooting and good distribution of scoring. Four times during the stretch, the would score 100+ points.
The first loss of the season came down at Chapel Hill to North Carolina. The game was tied at half, but the Orangemen had poor shooting all game and eventually lost what turned out to be a lopsided affair. The Orangemen were now in the middle of the Big East season, and the conference was loaded with All-Americans and future NBA stars. The team would have up and down efforts, and finish the Big East season 9-7. Rautins did have two triple doubles, the first and second occurrences in the history of the Big East Conference, and Santifer have a career high 30 points in a win over Boston College.
Rautins was struggling with his shot, and the team was off-kilter. Raf Addison started to emerge as a valuable sixth man, scoring 20 points against Seton Hall, as a reserve. Tony Bruin would injury his leg in the Boston College game in mid February, and that would have an impact on the team down the stretch. Bruin would miss two games, and while he got back into the starting role, his effectiveness was limited. Fortunately, Addison was able to pick up much of the scoring, and had several double digit scoring efforts down the stretch. The team would lose three of its last four down the stretch, heading into the Big East tournament.
The Orangemen would face rival Georgetown in the first game of the Big East tournament, the same Georgetown team that had just beaten the Orangemen three days earlier behind All American Patrick Ewing. This time the fortunes would be with the Orangemen as Rautins, Santifer and Addison would have big games in the upset of the Hoyas. The next day would not be as kind as the Boston College Eagles, also a team with the ability to run the ball well, would beat the Orangemen 80-74.
Syracuse would play Morehead State in the first round of the NCAA tournament, and would run to an easy victory. They would face Ohio State in the second round, a team they had beaten earlier in the season. This time, the Orangemen seemed lifeless, getting constantly beat on rebounds and loose balls by the Buckeyes. The Orangemen would end up losing 79-74, ending their season. The senior tri-captains had to say goodbye, but a couple of young stars appeared to be emerging.
© RLYoung 2005, 2006