Profiles In Old-Timey Orange: Lew Castle, Syracuse's First All-American

Lew is in there somewhere. via orangehoops.org

I've been trolling around OrangeHoop's extensive archives into the past of Syracuse Orange basketball. From it, I'm unearthing info and profiles on Syracuse's forgotten heroes. We all know about Vic Hanson, Dave Bing and Lew Andreas, but what about these guys?

First up, Lew Castle.

Of the many golden ages of Syracuse basketball, it's first had to have been 1911 through 1920, when Ed Dollard's boys won a National Championship, went undefeated once and averaged 10/11 wins a year (playing 16-to-18 games/year).

And the initial star of that era was Lewis Castle.

A sophomore in 1911-12, Castle finished second on the squad in scoring and lead the team in wins over Toronto (45-28), Union (20-15), St. Lawrence (21-17) and Union (41-16). The team would finish 11-3, 8-0 at home. They even survived a potential fan riot against Oswego National, which prompts several questions (what was Oswego Normal and who were their fans?). Castle was named an All-American after the season, Syracuse's first-ever.

In 1912-13, the team would finish 8-3 with Castle now leading the team in scoring. The team bookended the season with a three-game and four-game winning streak, respectively. It was the "worst" of Castle's three seasons with the squad but still a respectable one.

The 1913-14 Syracuse basketball team would go down in history as the first and only undefeated team in school history. They were of course led by Castle, who averaged 12.9 PPG, the only SU player in double-digits.

The team captain piloted the Orangemen to wins large and small. Against Pittsburgh, fate seemed to smile on SU when, trailing by one late, Castle stepped to the free throw line to shoot a technical. He missed but Pitt was called for a lane violation (same refs worked the 2012 Ohio State game...). Castle got a second chance, made the shot, sent the game to overtime and the Orangemen won it running away.

A 29-18 win over Dartmouth sealed the 12-0 season. Unfortunately, with no postseason tournament, a 15-0 Wisconsin team was deemed better and awarded the National Championship.

Castle ended up earning another All-American nod after a season in which he accounted for 42% of the team's scoring. He ended his Syracuse career with a 31-6 record.

Castle wasn't just a basketball star. He also played football for three seasons,led the crew team to a championship and won the student body president election. He was "that guy."

Castle went on to a successful business career, eventually running the Detroit Stock Exchange. I'm guessing that it ran better when he was a part of it than before he got there...

H/T: OrangeHoops

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