Just 18 wins doesn‚Äôt exactly cut it for the Syracuse fan base. The last time the Orange failed to deliver 20 wins to their loyal fans was the 2016-17 season. This year with just 18 wins (granted a shortened season) fans are just as much disappointed. Despite a poor showing this year, there were definitely a few bright spots, let‚Äôs take a look at the top 5 plays of the season for Syracuse Men‚Äôs Basketball:
#5: Elijah Hughes Shows Torry Johnson who‚Äôs Boss
Elijah Hughes just declared for the draft, as he was the best player on this Syracuse squad. There‚Äôs a good chance we see a lot of him on this list. We kick off with a monstrous block of his that got the Orange faithful on their feet and got the Loudhouse to live up to its namesake:
This game was an absolute nail biter and this block definitely helped to shift momentum onto Syracuse‚Äôs side of the court heading into the second half.
#4: Bourama Sidibe Gets up to Slam it Down
Bourama Sidibe, a guy that was, for the most part, a disappointment throughout the season makes our list for a connection he made with Joe Girard to slam down an alley-oop in the only game played in ACC Tournament for SU.
Sidibe wasn‚Äôt anything special for the entire season. The big man‚Äôs performances had some fans wishing Paschal Chukwu was still manning the low post, regardless this alley-oop slam was pretty cool, especially in such a big game.
#3: Elijah Hughes Posterizes Two Georgia Tech Defenders
When the Orange traveled down to McCamish Pavilion on December 7th to face the Yellow Jackets a couple of things happened. Syracuse nearly ran them out of the building, crushing them 97-63, and Elijah Hughes scored his season-high 33 points. Two of those points came on this massive slam dunk.
Hughes played well all season long and sprinkled in some huge slams for fans throughout the year. He was always an exciting player to watch, and he‚Äôll go down in Orange history that way.
#2: Buddy Boeheim‚Äôs Prayer Connects in Overtime
What an improvement of a season it was for Buddy Boeheim this year. He went from scoring just 7 points in 17 minutes, to 15 in 35. He became a player this team relied on to score buckets and when he was hot he did just that. The coach‚Äôs son scored 9 points in overtime to lift the Orange over the Cavaliers in Virginia, this play accounted for a third of those points.
Everyone loves a good buzzer-beater and a half court shot, when you combine the two you get something special.
#1: Brycen Goodine Wins it at the Buzzer
When Syracuse fans think of their favorite basketball moments, 2003 is sure to pop up quite quickly, but right behind that has got to be game-winning shots. Tyus Battle gifted the fanbase a couple in his tenure, his freshman year at Clemson, and last year in the Dome against Georgetown. If you reach back a little further there‚Äôs plenty of others, you‚Äôve got John Gillon against Duke, Tyler Ennis at Pitt, and so on. That‚Äôs why number 1 on this list had to be a moment much like those.
In a year that was chock full of positives and negatives, it’s good to look back and realize this team had some really good moments. Elijah Hughes contributed more than his fair share of electric dunks and blocks, Buddy Boeheim turned in some great scoring performances and Brycen Goodine, regardless of his transferring, gave the Syracuse Basketball program yet another great buzzer-beater to look back upon.
We‚Äôll continue to unveil our top five lists in the coming days and weeks. Click here for the rest of the lists and relive the 2019-20 Syracuse basketball season with us.