Syracuse Basketball: Greatest Pure Point Guards in Orange History

Daniel O'BrienFeatured ColumnistJuly 9, 2012

Syracuse Basketball: Greatest Pure Point Guards in Orange History

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    The Syracuse Orange basketball program has seen some outstanding point guards come through the ranks.

    Some were gifted defensively, like Eddie Moss and Jason Hart, while others such as Sherman Douglas and Scoop Jardine were creative on offense.

    But there's one thing they all had in common: running the Syracuse offense and leading the Orange deep into March.

    Check out this rundown of the greatest pure point guards in Syracuse hoops history.

10. Dave Bing, 1963-66

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    I'm breaking the rules by putting a combo-guard in this group, but Dave Bing's ball distribution skills are too good to not include in this list.

    Assists weren't even a recorded statistic during his first couple years with Syracuse, but in his senior year, he had 6.6 assists per game while scoring a mountain of points (28.4 per game).

    In a nutshell, Dave Bing could've been one of the best pure point guards in college hoops if his team didn't rely on him to do so much scoring.

    Bing, the current mayor of Detroit, is probably okay with being ranked tenth here because he's No. 1 on Syracuse's list of top overall players.

9. Lazarus Sims, 1992-1996

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    During his first three years at Syracuse, Lazarus Sims saw limited playing time as a reserve point guard.

    His patience was rewarded as the 6'4" hometown product of Henninger High School had a brilliant senior year for the Orange. Sims started all 38 games for Syracuse and dished out 281 assists (7.4 per game).

    With his efficient work at the point, the Orange were able to make a deep run in the Big Dance, all the way to the 1996 NCAA title game.

    He wasn't a prolific scorer or a phenomenal athlete, but his ball-handling skills and unselfishness led to highlight-reel plays like this one.

8. Scoop Jardine, 2007-08, 2009-2012

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    Scoop Jardine was one of the most entertaining Syracuse players in recent memory. The shifty playmaker thrived by using his polished handle to create opportunities and lead the fast break.

    In a career that was interrupted by injury, Scoop's junior season was by far his best. He scored 12.5 points and dealt 5.9 assists per game as he took over the starting point guard role.

    His production decreased a bit on the deep 2011-12 team, but he still led the team in assists and made some huge shots for the Orange.

    Jardine will be remembered as an unpredictable player who played with heart, hustle and plenty of flair.

7. Eddie Moss, 1977-81

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    He wasn't a primary scorer for the Orange, but Eddie Moss supplied the late-1970s Syracuse squad with floor general leadership and stellar defense.

    Moss became the starting point guard in his junior and senior seasons which were the program's first two years in the newly-formed Big East Conference. In those two campaigns, Moss notched 358 assists and 160 steals as the Orange reached the Sweet 16 in 1980 and NIT Finals in 1981.

    He won't go down in Syracuse lore as one of the all-time greats, but he was a terrific point guard and a key player during Jim Boeheim's early years as head coach.

6. Adrian Autry, 1990-94

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    Playing about 1000 minutes per year for four years in the early 1990s, Orange point guard Adrian Autry developed into one of the best floor generals in the Big East.

    He was a versatile 6'4" guard who used his size to get to rim, share the ball, play defense and shoot from the outside. He was also a great rebounding guard, hauling in 456 boards during his career.

    By his senior year, Autry was averaging 6.1 assists, 16.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while shooting 37 percent from long distance.

5. Gerry McNamara, 2002-2006

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    One of the most beloved players in Syracuse basketball history, Gerry McNamara would be higher on this list, but he's not quite a pure point guard.

    Nevertheless, he possessed the two skills that are paramount for successful point guards: passing and leadership. Yes, he was a great shot-maker, but he also racked up 648 assists, good for third-best in Syracuse history.

    "G-Mac" helped bring an NCAA crown to the Syracuse program in 2003, and he also hoisted back-to-back Big East tournament trophies in 2005-06.

    His professional career never panned out, but he's already moving up the coaching ranks on the Carrier Dome sideline.

4. Jonny Flynn, 2007-09

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    Fresh off a standout career at Niagara Falls High School, Jonny Flynn made an immediate impact in the Syracuse backcourt in 2007.

    He started every game his freshman year and led the team in assists while scoring 15.7 points per game. The individual statistics were nice, but Flynn didn't see postseason success until his sophomore year.

    As a sophomore, he led the Orange past UConn (in six overtimes) en route to a runner-up finish in the Big East tourney and then spearheaded a trip to the Sweet 16.

    He's one of the most athletic and creative guards the program has ever seen.

3. Jason Hart, 1996-2000

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    Jason Hart started in all but one of his 132 games at Syracuse, piling up more than 700 assists in the process.

    He directed the late-1990s Orange offense with his ball-handling and lateral quickness, and he was a force on both ends of the floor. Hart effectively disrupted opponent's backcourts with his exceptional defense.

    Along with future NBA player Etan Thomas, Hart spurred Syracuse to multiple Sweet 16 appearances.

    His collegiate legacy was boosted by earning first-team All-Big East honors in 2000 and being named to the Syracuse All-Century team.

2. Dwayne "Pearl" Washington, 1983-86

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    Hailing from the borough of Brooklyn, NY, Dwayne "Pearl" Washington dazzled Syracuse fans in his three years with the Orange.

    His elite playmaking skills and ball control allowed him to score and distribute the ball at will. In his senior year, he scored 17 points and delivered eight assists per game, generating the majority of Syracuse's offense.

    Orange Hoops aptly describes Pearl's outstanding talent:

    "The Pearl was not a fast player, nor did he have any leaping ability. He instead possessed amazing ball handling skills, an uncanny court sense and the ability to pull off unbelievable plays. Teams could not press Syracuse full court, because the Pearl could dribble right through it."

     

1. Sherman Douglas, 1985-89

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    Not only is Sherman Douglas the program's top point guard statistically, he also brought the team to new heights in the Big East and NCAA in the late 1980s.

    With Douglas running the fast break and orchestrating the Orange attack, Syracuse won two Big East regular season trophies, one conference tournament title and made a runner-up finish in the 1987 NCAA tournament.

    His court vision and scoring prowess allowed him to register over 2,000 points and nearly 1,000 assists in his career. Douglas is without a doubt the best point guard in Syracuse history.

     

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