1987-1988 Syracuse Orangemen
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Overall 26-9 NCAA 2nd Round Schedule Results
Big East 11-5 Big East Champion (Tournament) Previous Next

Coach: Jim Boeheim

Player Cl Pos G GS Min FG FGA FG% FT FTA FT% 3PT 3PA 3P% Ast Reb Fls DQ TO ST BS Pts Ppg Apg Rpg
Sherman Douglas Jr G 35 34 1195 222 428 51.9% 104 150 69.3% 14 53 26.4% 288 76 55 0 117 69 1 562 16.1 8.2 2.2
Matt Roe So G 35 31 850 109 258 42.2%
30 38 78.9% 74 182 40.7% 69 86 67 1 35 17 2 322 9.2 2.0 2.5
Stephen Thompson So G/F 35 35 1072 196 348 56.3% 98 168 58.3% 2 4 50.0% 66 171 83 3 47 40 11 492 14.1 1.9 4.9
Derrick Coleman So F 35 34 1133 176 300 58.7% 121 192 63.0% 1 6 16.7% 76 384 84 2 76 45 57 474 13.5 2.2 11.0
Rony Seikaly Sr C 35 35 1084 218 385 56.6% 133 234 56.8% 0 0
---
22 335 105 1 87 23 85 569 16.3 0.6 9.6
Earl Duncan So G 35 4 641 76 178 42.7%
46 67 68.7%
26 63 41.3% 112 49 50 0 50 26 3 224 6.4 3.2 1.4
Derek Brower Sr F/C 35 0 448 54 122 44.3%
20 52 38.5%
3 5 60.0% 40 96 73 0 28 24 5 131 3.7 1.1 2.7
Herman Harried Jr F 24 1 193 29 42 69.2%
7 26 26.9%
0 0
---
7 44 27 1 19 8 5 65 2.7 0.3 1.8
Keith Hughes So F 19 0 276 44 104 42.3% 14 25 56.0% 1 7 14.3% 7 51 47 3 17 17 4 103 5.4 0.4 2.7
Erik Rogers So C 13 0 82 6 17 35.3%
0 0
---
0 0
---
6 27 19 1 4 2 2 12 0.9 0.5 2.1
Chaundu Carey Fr G 10 0 25 5 10 50.0% 1 5 20.0%
0 0
---
1 5 1 0 2 0 0 11 1.1 0.1 0.5
Nick Palmer So F 10 0 16 0 3 0.0%
0 0
---
0 0
---
1 3 3 0 1 0 0 0 0.0 0.1 0.3
Aaron Tweedy Fr G 4 0 10 0 0
---
0 0
---
0 0
---
1 3 0 0 4 0 0 0 0.0 0.3 0.8

Expectations were almost impossible for Syracuse to meet as the season began. The Orangemen had come within seconds of a national title the previous year, and returned the nucleus of the team, earning the #1 preseason ranking. Sherman Douglas was now a known commodity at the point, Derrick Coleman was developing his reputation as the best rebounder in the country and Rony Seikaly had matured into an offensive and defensive force. Earl Duncan was eligible to play after sitting out due to Proposition 48, and he initially replaced Greg Monroe in the lineup. Skywalker Stevie Thompson stepped into the lineup replacing Howard Triche. Sharpshooter Matt Roe and big men Derek Brower, Herman Harried and Keith Hughes formed a nice bench.

Syracuse started the season off with a thud, basically getting run off the court by highly ranked North Carolina in the Tip off classic. Syracuse would then travel to the Great Alaska Shootout, and would easily run over their first two opponents, before meeting Arizona. The Wildcats would also knock off the Orangemen, leaving their season at 2-2. Duncan was struggling with his shot, so Coach Boeheim replaced him with Roe. It turned out to be a good move.

The Orangemen were talented, and knew they were a good team. They started playing pressure defense, and the fast break was working well. When the were in half court sets, Seikaly became the focus of the defense. Or they would set up an alley oop pass from Douglas to a highflying Thompson or Coleman going to the hoop. When teams tried to pack the zone in tight, Roe would shoot a three pointer, hitting them at a 40% clip.

Syracuse developed a trademark over the course of the season where they would play teams even, except for one or two huge runs in the game where the Orangemen would outscore their opposition something like 10-0, or 15-2. The games where they were able to make their run, the usually won, and won easily. When they couldn't make those runs, the games remained close. Unfortunately, close games meant free throw shooting was going to matter down the stretch. And the Orangemen were horrendous. Coleman and Douglas were poor at it, and Seikaly and Thompson very bad. Brower redefined the term awful (at 38.5%). In the Big East season, Syracuse would lose six games, by a total margin of 11 points.

The Big East regular season title came down to the last game versus Pittsburgh; the winner would be the regular season champion. It was a close game, with more poor free throw shooting, that Pitt won by one point.

The Big East tournament was a different story. Syracuse was able to play strong pressure defense and run their fast break well, easily winning all three games and the Big East Championship. Douglas was at the top of his game, and won the Tournament MVP.

The Orangemen were a high seed in the NCAA tournament. Douglas would get ill during the week prior to the game. The impact of that illness was significant, as Syracuse had no true backup point guard. Douglas was able to play but his game was clearly off. Syracuse beat North Carolina A&T by a large margin, though the Orangemen did not play well as a unit. In the second round they were not so fortunate when they met Rhode Island. Douglas fought through is cold and managed 12 assists, but was definitely hampered. Despite 27 points from Seikaly, the Orangemen would lose 97-94.

Despite a 26-9 record, a Big East Championship, and many individual moments and exciting plays to remember, the season would end up being a disappointment.

© RLYoung 2005, 2006, 2009