On Thursday, Syracuse Athletics unveiled changes made to Jim Boeheim court. The Syracuse Orange men’s and women’s basketball teams will have a new parquet to play on beginning this season. Fans can get a first glimpse tonight when the annual Orange vs. White scrimmage takes place, beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
The obvious changes exist on the endline, as SU has rekindled its embrace of blue, also seen on the new men’s jerseys. The block ‘S’ remains at center court, as do ‘Syracuse’ and ‘Orange’ on the endlines and the Carrier logos (conversation for another day).
No longer is Pearl Washington’s ‘31’ on center court though. Rather, that number is on the east sideline along with Vic Hanson’s No. 8, Dave Bing’s No. 22, Sherman Douglas’s No. 20, Wilmeth Sidat-Singh’s No. 19, Derrick Coleman’s No. 44, Rony Seikaly’s No. 4, Billy Owens’s No. 30, Billy Gabor’s No. 17, Carmelo Anthony’s No. 15, Louis Orr’s No. 55, Roosevelt Bouie’s No. 50, Dennis Duval’s No. 22 and Lawrence Moten’s No. 21.
Those numbers are centered left, which initially caused some commotion on twitter. SUA spokesman Pete Moore confirmed that the empty space is left for jerseys that might be retired in the future. So, with that in mind, the TNIAAM staff gathered together to discuss who should have their jerseys retired next.
Dave Stone: Adrian Autry and Hakim Warrick
Adrian Autry. What’s not to love? Four year player. Improved his average points every single season. Fifth all time in assists at SU, 4th in steals, 21st in points.He helped lead the team to the NCAA Finals in 1994, and had one of the single most epic halves in Syracuse basketball history, unloading for 31 points against Missouri in the West Regional Semifinals (including one of the most insane shots ever, a 15-footer from a completely seated position, which didn’t count, but should have). Autry was well-respected and a leader in the locker room, something he has translated into a coaching career at SU, where he now resides as associate head coach under Jim Boeheim. Additionally, his oldest son was a walk-on for the men’s team.
Hakim Warrick. How has Warrick’s number not already been retired? His legacy speaks for itself. Fifth all-time at SU in points, fourth all-time in rebounds. He was a prominent member of Syracuse basketball’s lone NCAA championship, and had the game-saving block to preserve the win, one of the most iconic moments in Syracuse history. He averaged 21.4 points and 8.6 rebounds as a senior, and had some of the most emphatic dunks of all time over his four year career. He also translated his college success into a lengthy, productive NBA career, playing in 12 different seasons and averaging as many as 13 points and 5 rebounds a game in mostly a sixth man role.
Kevin Wall: John Wallace, Jason Hart, Gerry McNamara and Stevie Thompson
My picks would be John Wallace, Jason Hart and Gerry McNamara. Wallace was not only the reason the team went to the 1996 Final Four but him coming to Syracuse during a probation period was a major boost for the program. Hart is the all-time leader in steals and is 2nd on the all-time assists list and McNamara really doesn’t need an explantion. If we extend this list to four, I’d add Stephen Thompson who is often overlooked when people talk about 1987 squad.
James Szuba: John Wallace, Jason Hart, Gerry McNamara and Hakim Warrick
First things first. There are nine retired numbers to the left of center court and only five to the right. That, to me, means there’s room for four players to have their numbers listed. Although there’s no requirement to have four retired, the next in line to me would be, in no particular order, Wallace, Hart, McNamara and Warrick.
When looking back on legacy, I think Wallace is an obvious candidate for the reasons Kevin mentioned and considering he’s still third in program history in both points (2,119) and rebounds (1,065). He was a second-team All American in 1996 as well.
Hart was a four-year starter for Boeheim and was pivotal in getting the team to two Sweet 16 appearances. He’s still tops in steals and second in assists in program history. He scored 1,503 points in his career which is No. 23 all-time. Hart made Big East first-team as senior too.
McNamara’s career speaks for itself, but, he won a National Championship in 2003 and two Big East Tournament titles in 2005 and 2006. He took home Big East first-team honors in both ‘05 and ‘06 and second-team in 2004. He still ranks first all-time in made 3s (400). He’s fourth in scoring and third in both assists and steals. He went to the NCAA Tournament every year in his tenure.
Warrick has all of the NCAA Tournament and Big East Tournament wins as McNamara as well as being a second-team All American in his senior year. As mentioned by Dave, he’s tops on the leader boards for numerous categories and owns the single biggest play in Syracuse basketball history.
These suggestions aren’t meant to just be limited to the men’s side. Brent Axe made an important suggestion about retiring women’s jerseys as well.
Hopefully we'll see some women's retired numbers added to this list soon. There's room. https://t.co/CVe7T1EGEP— Brent Axe (@BrentAxeMedia) October 10, 2019
What about you though? Who do you think should be next up to have their jersey(s) retired? Let us know in the comments below.