Ranking Syracuse’s Best Point Guards Ever
February 19th, 2014| by Lost Lettermen
10. Michael Carter-Williams (2011-2013)
Even if this is his only season at Syracuse, Tyler Ennis will still go down as one of the better point guards in history for an Orange program that’s seen its fair share of them. For now, here are our picks for the
Syracuse’s Top 10 Point Guards Ever.
Carter-Williams was not an immediate contributor at the start of his Syracuse career. But with the graduation of Scoop Jardine (more on him later) following the 2011-2012 season, Jim Boeheim needed an able replacement. MCW was just that as a sophomore and more.
In his lone season as a starter, Carter-Williams filled up the stat sheet to the tune of 11.9 PPG, 5.0 RPG and 7.3 APG (third-best assist rate in Division). What’s more, at 6-foot-6 and with Stretch Armstrong-like arms, MCW was a big part of a tenacious 2-3 zone defense that nearly carried Syracuse to a national title.
9. Scoop Jardine (2007-2012)
Philly product Antonio “Scoop” Jardine had a jitterbugging style of play that was just as fun as his nickname. Not to mention an equally heartwarming comeback story.
After missing the entirety of the 2008-2009 season due to a stress fracture in his leg, Jardine was masterful off the bench for Syracuse’s 2010 Sweet Sixteen squad, earning Sixth Man of the Year honors courtesy of The Sporting News.
The starting PG in each of his final two seasons, Jardine guided ‘Cuse to a 61-11 record, culminating in a 2012 Elite Eight berth during his redshirt senior year.
8. Dennis DuVal (1971-1974)
Appropriately nicknamed “Sweet D,” DuVal was a showman with a giant Afro that could flat-out score. For his three-year varsity career, DuVal averaged 18.6 PPG and 3.6 APG, topping out at 20.6 PPG as a senior during the 1973-1974 season and earning Third Team All-America honors.
Even more important than DuVal’s statistical accomplishments was his role in rebuilding the Orangemen program under Boeheim’s predecessor, Roy Danforth.
7. Jonny Flynn (2007-2009)
During the mid-2000s, Syracuse endured a four-year funk in which it never made it past the first round of the NCAA tournament or was relegated to the NIT. Flynn was one of the stars who helped the program rise back to prominence.
A devastating combination of savvy playmaking and explosive athleticism, the Niagara, NY, native averaged 16.6 PPG, 6.0 APG and 1.5 SPG in his two seasons with the Orange. He was the 2008 Big East Rookie of the Year and the MVP of the conference tournament in 2009, after which he guided ‘Cuse to a berth in that year’s Sweet Sixteen before being selected sixth overall in the 2009 NBA Draft.
6. Adrian Autry (1990-1994)
From the moment that Autry arrived on campus prior to the 1990-1991 season, the Bronx native was a big part of what the Orangemen did on both sides of the floor. And rarely at any point during his career did he disappoint.
A Big East All-Rookie performer as a freshman, Autry led Syracuse in assists in all four years he was there. His best season was his last, during which he averaged 16.7 PPG, 6.1 APG and 4.8 RPG while earning First Team All-Big East honors. And he finished it all with a bang, scoring 31 points in the second half (still an NCAA tournament record) of the Orangemen’s Sweet 16 loss to Missouri.
5. Gerry McNamara (2002-2006)
Besides Boeheim, there might not be a more beloved figure in Syracuse basketball history than Gerry McNamara. The gritty Scranton, PA, native was best known as a 3-point marksman (a school record 400 career treys) yet proved himself as an adept distributor and defender for all four years of his college career.
McNamara is currently third in school history in assists (648) and second in steals (258) in addition to 2,099 points. And his heroic MVP performance as a senior in the 2006 Big East Tournament remains one of the most iconic moments in Syracuse lore.
Perhaps one of the reasons that Ennis is having the season he’s having this year is that he has McNamara – now in his fifth season on the Syracuse bench as an assistant coach – guiding him along.
4. Jason Hart (1996-2000)
Hart is a relative rarity in the lexicon of past Syracuse players: a Southern California native. What he brought to the table in four years as an Orange starter (and standout) was similarly one-of-a-kind.
A solid, steady scorer at 11.4 PPG, Hart also made his mark with his playmaking (second in school history with 709 assists) but particularly with his tenacious defense, as he holds the single-season (101) and career (329) marks for steals. Syracuse went 92-40 during his college career, including a pair of Sweet Sixteen berths.
3. Pearl Washington (1983-1986)
The first big-time recruit that Boeheim ever lured to upstate New York, Dwayne “Pearl” Washington brought a flash and panache to the game befitting of his nickname. The Brooklyn native averaged 15.6 PPG and 6.7 APG for his Syracuse career and earned First Team All-Big East honors in each of his three collegiate seasons.
“The Pearl was not a fast player, nor did he have any leaping ability,” wrote OrangeHoops.org. “He instead possessed amazing ball handling skills, an uncanny court sense, and the ability to pull off unbelievable plays.”
In other words: He was exactly what you want out of a point guard.
2. Sherman Douglas (1985-1989)
Douglas was a product of the same Washington D.C. high school (Spingarn) that produced Dave Bing. Just like they did with Bing, the Orange struck it rich.
Had he not backed up Pearl Washington as a freshman, Douglas could’ve very well finished his career as the first player ever with over 2,000 points and 1,000 assists in a career (he finished with 2,060 and 960 respectively). His finishing ability and masterful running of the Orangemen fast break was what helped transform the program into a perennial Big East contender.
And all this from a player whose only scholarship offer came from Jim Boeheim.
1. Dave Bing (1963-66)
Admittedly, Bing was more of a combo guard. Yet it’d be a mistake to remember him for just his prodigious scoring ability.
During his First Team All-American senior season in 1965-1966, Bing racked up 6.0 APG in addition to scoring 28.4 PPG (which still stands as the single-season school record). Moreover, Bing also grabbed 10.3 RPG for his career – an astonishing number in light of the fact that he was a 6-foot-3 guard.
Bing isn’t just the best point guard in Syracuse history, he’s also the greatest Orange player ever. Period.