Summit Auto Group Best of the Week: Rough as SU’s season was, where would it have gone without two Upstate New York products? Between them, Buddy Boeheim and Joseph Girard III would average 27.7 points per game, with Boeheim getting 15.3 points and Girard 12.4 while leading the team in assists and averaging better than 89 percent at the free-throw line. Boeheim shot 71.4 percent from the line, and this pair of players is the core around which the Orange will build itself in 2020-21.
SOS Rewind and Archive: SU was able to defeat a defending national champion in overtime this season when it topped Virginia. The Orange nearly did so 25 years ago. In the second round of the 1995 NCAA Tournament, SU led Arkansas late in regulation and appeared to get a last-second, game-winning steal before an ill-called Lawrence Moten timeout that the Orange didn’t have led to overtime and a 96-94 defeat. But many of the stars of that team would be back a season later to lead SU all the way to the national championship game.
AFLAC Trivia Tidbit: The SU team from 1999-2000 that, 20 seasons ago, got to the Sweet 16 had quite a nice balance. But it was Etan Thomas that was the most vital part of the team in the paint, averaging 9.3 rebounds per game to go with his 13.6 points. His ability in the glass allowed Preston Shumpert, Jason Hart, Ryan Blackwell and Damone Brown to all flourish in their own ways, and Thomas would go on to both an NBA career and then, when that was done, a prominent role as a community activist and author.
Upstate Medical University Community Corner: This week marked the one-year anniversary of Joseph Girard III leading Glens Falls to a memorable state Class B championship. In the final against Lowville, with Jim Boeheim and others in attendance at a packed arena in Binghamton, Girard put up 50 points and, in a theatrical ending, sank a driving layup as time ran out, giving Glens Falls a 75-74 victory. A week later, playing at home at Cool Insuring Arena, Girard and Glens Falls won the state Federation title, too, as he finished as New York State’s all-time leading scorer.
U.S. Army Weekly Recap: SU would not play in any post-season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. with the NCAA Tournament and NIT wiped out, it would mark the first time since 1970 that there would be no post-season appearance for a reason other than probation. What’s more, several players would announce they would transfer from SU, which combined with Elijah Hughes’ departure would make for a challenging offseason for the Orange attempting to rebound after it ultimately went 18-14 this winter.