1995-96 Syracuse Orange men's basketball team

1995-96 Syracuse Orange men's basketball team

Prev year=1994-95
Next year=1996-97
Team=Syracuse Orangemen

Conference=Big East Conference
ShortConference=Big East
HeadCoach=Jim Boeheim
AsstCoach1=Bernie Fine
StadiumArena=Carrier Dome

The 1995-1996 Syracuse Orangemen men's basketball team represented Syracuse University. The Head Coach was Jim Boeheim, serving for his 20th year. The team played its home games at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York. The team finished with a 29-9 (12-6) record, while making it to the Championship Game of the NCAA tournament.

The team was led by seniors John Wallace and Lazarus Sims. Fellow senior J.B. Reafsnyder, juniors Jason Cipolla and Otis Hill, sophomore Todd Burgan and Marius Janulis played key roles. Walk-on and future NFL star Donovan McNabb also appeared in five games.

Season Recap

Syracuse was aided by the return of John Wallace, who had declared for the NBA draft, but chose to withdraw his early entry. Wallace would lead Syracuse in scoring for 30-of-38 games, leading Syracuse to an early 11-0 record.

With the Orangemen hitting a bump in mid-season losing five of eight Big East games, Boeheim chose to insert Jason Cipolla into the starting lineup in favor of Marius Janulis. The move worked as Syracuse would go 8-1 to finish the regular season with a record of 22-7. Syracuse would advance to the Big East Championship semi-finals, where it was knocked off by Connecticut, 85-67. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DE4D71F39F93AA35750C0A960958260 BASKETBALL;A Battle of the Big East's Best: It's UConn vs. Georgetown - New York Times ] ]

Syracuse was named a No. 4 seed for the tournament, and played one of its most memorable games in the Sweet 16 against Georgia. Cipolla hit a jumper as time expired in regulation to send the game to overtime, and John Wallace sealed the victory with a 3-pointer with 2 seconds remaining to propel Syracuse to an 83-81 win. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9504E2DD1439F930A15750C0A960958260 N.C.A.A. TOURNAMENT: WEST;Syracuse Hits the Shot; Arizona Doesn't - New York Times ] ] Wallace finished with 30 points and 15 rebounds in that game.

Syracuse would knock off the Paul Pierce, Raef LaFrentz and Jacques Vaughn-led Kansas in the Elite 8, and Erick Dampier and the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the National Semifinal game. [ [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/longterm/memories/final4/articles/semi96a.htm Washingtonpost.com: Syracuse's Defense Tops 'Dogs, 77-69 ] ] This set up a matchup between Jim Boeheim and former assistant Rick Pitino, who was now head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats in the National Championship game.

Syracuse, a heavy underdog, nearly overcame a 13-point second-half deficit, closing to within to 2, but Kentucky held on for a 76-67 victory. Kentucky featured a deep team, including future NBA stars Derek Anderson, Antoine Walker and Ron Mercer. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E04E6D81239F931A35757C0A960958260 BASKETBALL;Relentless Kentucky Captures Championship - New York Times ] ]

Key Contributors

*John Wallace (22.2 pts, 8.7 rebs)
*Jason Cipolla (7.7 pts, 2.0 rebs)
*Lazarus Sims (6.3 pts, 7.4 asts)
*Todd Burgan (12.1 pts, 6.8 rebs)
*Otis Hill (12.7 pts, 5.5 rebs)
*Marius Janulis (6.1 pts, 2.1 rebs)
*J.B. Reafsnyder (5.5 pts, 3.4 rebs)

ee also

*Syracuse Orange men's basketball
*1996 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament
*1996 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament

External links

* [http://www.suathletics.com/index.asp?path=mbasket Syracuse Orange men's basketball official website]


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