|1984-1985 Syracuse Orangemen|
|Overall||22-9||NCAA 2nd Round||Schedule Results|
Coach: Jim Boeheim
The Pearl was bringing rising expectations to the Syracuse basketball program. What would the team do for an encore his sophomore season? Raf Addison was gaining recognition as the most underrated player in the country with his consistent perimeter shooting and rebounding. A couple new comers hoped to bring life to the program: talented shooter Michael Brown and the raw athletic big man in Rony Seikaly. Coach Boeheim hope the addition of the two would improve the perimeter shooting and more importantly, improve the teams rebounding deficiencies.Andre Hawkins, now a senior, moved to the power forward position.
The Orangemen quickly settled into an uncomfortable pattern. The team would play down to their lesser opponents, winning the games but with more difficulty than they should have. They would rise to the occasion and play strong against the top teams. Primarily through the dynamic play of Washington, and the consistent scoring from Addison, the team would start the season out at 19-5 after an impressive win over LSU, rising as high as #5 in the polls. Washington had a big night against Pittsburgh, scoring 30 points, and Addison put together an hot shooting night to beat Providence with 31 points.
Unfortunately, Seikaly was going through his growing pains in the center position. He was constantly in foul trouble, being disqualified in 11 games, and averaging only 25 minutes a game. Hawkins, finding himself out of position, found it hard to score and defend opponents, and found himself fouling out 8 times. The strong play of Wendell Alexis off the bench helped alleviate the problems, as he scored nearly ten points a game in his reserve role, and had more playing time than either Seikaly or Hawkins. Still, the dominance on the boards was not there for the team.
The Orangemen would then lose two close games to Connecticut and St. John's, and a blowout to Georgetown to finish the regular season losing three out of four. Not the momentum the team wanted in the post season.
The first round of the Big East tournament was close, in a see saw game with Boston College. The Pearl hit a shot from just outside the free throw line with 31 seconds to go to give the Orangemen a 70-69 lead; Troy Bowers of Boston College took a last second shot that bounced around the rim several times before falling out, to give Syracuse the win. Next round saw the Orangemen once again facing their rival Georgetown, now ranked #1 in the country.
The game was tied at 10 points when the Pearl and Patrick Ewing got into a fight. Ewing was called for a technical, but the moment also seemed to revitalize the Hoya big man. Addison would play a strong game, scoring 23 points on 7-11 shooting, but in the end the 7-9 shooting of Ewing and his 12 rebounds would be too much for the Orangemen, as Georgetown would win 74-65.
In the first round of the NCAA tournament, Syracuse played a strong DePaul team. Addison had an off night under strong DePaul defense, but Seikaly rose to occasion with his best effort of the year with 17 points on 7 of 9 shooting, and 9 rebounds. And the Pearl, though he couldn't get his shot off, was fouled frequently, and made the Demons pay for it, as he made 15 of 16 free throws, on his way to 23 points.
The second round the Orangemen played Georgia Tech. The Orangemen fell behind early in the game, and Georgia Tech, behind guard Mark Price, played a slow down game. Syracuse had to come out of their traditional zone defense and struggled to keep up with Tech's quickness. In the end, Georgia Tech led by John Salley and Bruce Dalrymple out rebounded Syracuse by 12, and the Orangemen lost 70-53.
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