2002-2003 Syracuse Orangemen
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******* NCAA NATIONAL CHAMPIONS *********
Overall 30-5 NCAA National Champions Schedule Results
Big East 13-3   Previous Next

Coach: Jim Boeheim

Player Cl Pos G GS Min FG FGA FG% FT FTA FT% 3PT 3PA 3P% Ast Reb DReb OReb Fls DQ TO ST BS Pts Ppg Apg Rpg
Gerry McNamara Fr G 35
35
1235
146
364
40.1%
90
99
90.9%
85
238
35.7%
155
80
66
14
69
1
85
77
2
467
13.3
4.4
2.3
Kueth Duany Sr G 35
35
944
133
303
43.9%
77
114
67.5%
43
123
35.0%
71
128
83
45
75
1
57
36
17
386
11.0
2.0
3.7
Carmelo Anthony Fr F 35
35
1274
277
612
45.3%
168
238
70.6%
56
166
33.7%
77
349
248
101
77
0
77
55
30
778
22.2
2.2
10.0
Hakim Warrick So F 35
35
1146
197
364
54.1%
124
186
66.7%
0
1
0%
57
297
185
112
94
4
92
49
44
518
14.8
1.6
8.5
Craig Forth So C 35
35
618
56
115
48.7%
20
40
50.0%
0
1
0%
30
116
66
50
90
4
39
14
51
132
3.8
0.9
3.3
Billy Edelin Fr G 23
0
533
80
146
54.8%
48
71
67.6%
0
2
0%
58
78
55
23
22
0
58
24
2
208
9.0
2.5
3.4
Josh Pace So G/F 32
0
469
62
118
52.5%
14
25
56.0%
0
2
0%
60
86
64
22
33
0
37
26
8
138
4.3
1.9
2.7
Jeremy McNeil Jr C 35
0
657
54
81
66.7%
9
20
45.0%
0
0
---
8
146
84
62
112
4
36
9
100
117
3.3
0.2
4.2
Matt Gorman Fr F 9
0
76
8
23
34.8%
5
8
62.5%
0
2
0%
1
19
15
4
14
0
5
3
2
21
2.3
0.1
2.1
Andrew Kouwe Jr G 6
0
10
3
5
60.0%
2
2
100%
2
2
100%
2
2
1
1
2
0
1
0
0
10
1.7
0.3
0.3
Ronneil Herron Sr G 5
0
9
2
3
66.7%
2
3
66.7%
0
0
0%
0
5
5
0
0
0
1
0
0
6
1.2
0.0
1.0
Xzavier Gaines Fr G 6
0
21
1
8
12.5%
0
0
---
0
3
0%
1
2
1
1
0
0
2
1
0
2
0.3
0.2
0.3
Gary Hall Jr F 5
0
6
1
1
100%
0
0
---
0
0
---
2
2
2
0
0
0
0
1
1
2
0.4
0.4
0.4
Tyrone Albright Sr G 7
0
20
0
2
0%
0
0
---
0
1
---
1
2
1
1
1
0
3
2
0
0
0.0
0.1
0.3
Josh Brooks Jr F 5
0
6
0
1
0%
0
0
---
0
0
---
0
1
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0.0
0.0
0.2

The team started the season unranked, and an opening game loss to Memphis. Freshman point guard Billy Edelin was suspended 12 games for an NCAA infraction involving his playing in a church league the previous season. From that point on, everything got better.

On a team with one senior (Kueth Duany), three freshman (Anthony, McNamara, and Edelin) and three sophomores (Craig Forth, Hakim Warrick, and Josh Pace), the group played with unselfish play and tremendous resolve. By season's end, they would have won 15 games that they trailed at some point in the 2nd half.

The Orangemen just kept winning games, a different player stepping up each night. By season's end the group had mastered their zone defense, and in the NCAA tournament the team was on a roll. They had all the components: the big star to fall back on (Anthony), big bodies in the middle (Forth & Jeremy McNeil), long armed players on the perimeter (Warrick, Duany, Forth & Pace),and a point guard (McNamara) with tremendous 3 point shooting and free throw shooting.

Fittingly they made it to the NCAA Championship game down in the Super Dome in New Orleans, the site of the heartbreaking 1987 last second loss to Indiana. Gerry McNamara was on fire in the first half with 6 three point baskets, and Carmelo Anthony was equally as hot, as Syracuse pulled out to a large first half lead. In the second half, Kansas slowly crept back into the game, and got within a basket of tying it up. But fate was kind to Syracuse this time, as Hakim Warrick had the signature play for the university, blocking the potential game winning shot from Kansas' Michael Lee as time was expiring. Ironically, this was at the same location on the court that 16 years earlier had seen Keith Smart throw a dagger into SU's heart.

Also of note: during the course of the season, the Big 12 conference was touted as the best conference in the country. Yet Syracuse swept the conference over the course of the season, beating Missouri in January, and then facing four Big 12 teams in the NCAA tourney (Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Texas, and Kansas), allowing Syracuse fans to joke that SU had also won the "Big 12 Championship".

© RLYoung 2005, 2007