Summit Auto Group Best of the Week: And the growth of Buddy Boeheim would continue. SU’s tough 71-69 win at Virginia Tech on January 18 could not have taken place were it not for Boeeheim pouring in 18 first-half points. Eventually, Buddy had 26 points, matching his career high, which included five 3-pointers and 10-for-20 overall shooting. Developing as a reliable and lethal option alongside Elijah Hughes, Boeheim keyed a four-game win streak, three of which were over teams SU lost to earlier this season.
SOS Rewind and Archive: Two seasons after he had “The Block” that capped SU’s run to a national championship, Hakim Warrick was still at SU with Gerry McNamara and the pair set out on a special season 15 years ago. In 2004-05, the Orange entered the season ranked as high as no. 6 in some pre-season polls, and the team would start 20-1. Basically, it was a two-man show all winter, Hak and G-Mac combining to average more than 36 points per game. Only one other player on the roster, Josh Pace, would average in double figures.
AFLAC Trivia Tidbit: That third option on the 2004-05 SU team, Josh Pace, was a senior that year. Having arrived at SU in 2002, he never missed a game and started as a junior and senior. He was the rare instance of an Orange recruit who didn’t come from usual hotbeds like Philadelphia or D.C. or from Upstate New York or even from Canada, as so many others had. Pace came from Griffin, Georgia, and while he never dazzled at SU, he did average more than 10 points and five rebounds a game in the two seasons he managed to start.
Upstate Medical University Community Corner: One of the more famous SU players of the early 2000s was Craig Forth. A star at Columbia High School near Albany, Forth literally came home in 2003 for the East Regional at what is now Times Union Center, where the Orange beat Auubrn and Oklahoma on the way to the Final Four and the national championship. He also was a true student-athlete, returning home after graduation to teach and ultimately serve as the principal at Mechanicville High School.
U.S. Army Weekly Recap: The surge that SU began when it knocked off reigning national champion Virginia on January 11 continued with a romp over Boston College and then two more sets of payback. On January 18, a rematch with Virginia Tech in Blacksburg proved a thriller, but the Orange pulled it out 71-69, setting up an encounter with Notre Dame that again was in doubt until the final seconds, but again SU prevailed 84-82, moving its record to 12-7 and helping it climb the standings in an ACC where few sides, other than Duke, Florida State and Louisville, were flourishing.