Syracuse Basketball 1980-1989  
Season Results
Team Record 243-87 0.736 1 Final Four, 2 Big East Championship
Post Season 8 NCAA, 2 NIT
Syracuse forced the tempo and ran fast breaks as often as possible, with little half court sets. The teams consistently spread the scoring around with 5 players in double digit scoring; as a result no player averaged 20 ppg in any season. Defensively the team alternated between 2-3 zone traps, and full court presses with dominant shot blockers in back. The team seldom went more than 7 players deep, and had regular starting lineups.
Player of the Decade
Derrick Coleman, with no intended slight to Pearl Washington or Sherman Douglas. The Pearl was an original, at times totally dominating, and always electrifying. Douglas ran the most explosive offense Syracuse ever had, and in many ways played the point better than the Pearl. But Coleman would be the number one overall pick in the 1990 NBA draft, and left school as the NCAA's all-time rebounder.
Best Individual Season
Sherman Douglas 1987-88. The Pearl had a very similar season in 1985-86; the Pearl was more dominating at times as a scorer, but he and Douglas had very similar numbers. Douglas had the SU offense flying on high octane, and was probably a better playmaker that year than the Pearl was. Louis Orr deserves a nod for his performance in 1979-80.
Best Team
1986-87. The team came within a Keith Smart basket of a National Championship, and won the Big East Regular Season Championship. The 1988-89 team was more talented, and quite arguably a better team, but they did not accomplish quite as much.
Top Scorer Sherman Douglas 2,060 points
Top Rebounder Derrick Coleman 1,139 rebounds
Top Assists Sherman Douglas 960 assists
Coach (1) Jim Boeheim 10 years 217-83 0.723
All Decade Team  
Sherman Douglas
Pearl Washington
Derrick Coleman
Rafael Addison
Rony Seikaly
Honorable Mentions Leo Rautins, Erich Santifer, Stephen Thompson
Best Shooter
Matt Roe. He had the advantage of being the 5th man on the court, but he took advantage of it. Raf Addison had a sweet mid range shot, and Greg Monroe was pretty good from the perimeter.
Fan Favorite The Pearl
Most Exciting Player
The Pearl. Absolutely the Pearl. One of the most exciting decades in Syracuse basketball history, included skywalkers Stephen Thompson and Tony 'Red' Bruin, and the alley oop passing of Sherman Douglas.
Best Defensive Player: Rony Seikaly. Outstanding intimidator in the middle.

©RLYoung 2005, 2019