Today we’ll begin a new series called “Fizz Four”. In this series, we will rank the top four point guards in Syracuse history.
While McNamara was never a true point guard, he makes this list anyway. Of course, McNamara was vital in SU’s 2003 championship run, canning six threes in the first half against Kansas.
While he was a streaky shooter, he could become red hot as he did against BYU in the 2004 NCAA Tournament, finishing with an Orange record 43 points. When he got hot, it seemed like McNamara could score from anywhere on the court. Every time he touched the ball, defenses would have to step out a couple of feet. Besides scoring, McNamara used that extra space to his advantage, finishing third all-time in assists at Syracuse.
McNamara went on to have one of the best careers in SU history. Over his four years, McNamara became the fourth leading scorer in SU history. McNamara made an All Big-East team in three out of four seasons. In his junior and senior seasons, McNamara finished First Team All Big-East.
In his senior season, McNamara led the Orange on an improbable Big-East tournament run. SU was desperate for a couple of victories to clench a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
In the first game against Cincinatti, McNamara heaved up a buzzer beater three as Syracuse trailed by two. That shot dropped, allowing SU to advance against No. 1 UConn. Once again, McNamara hit a buzzer beater three. This time, that sent the game to overtime, with Syracuse eventually won.
McNamara’s heroics continued against Georgetown in the semifinals, where he hit five second half threes. Then in the championship against Pittsburgh, McNamara assisted Eric Devendorf on a game winning shot to win the Big East Tournament. After the game, McNamara was crowned the Big East Tournament MVP.
McNamara was one of the best players in Syracuse history, and it’s a testament to the historical depth of the point guard position that he’s not ranked higher. This list will include some combo guards – like McNamara – that make up legends of SU basketball.