In our countdown of the top four point guards in Syracuse history, some of the best players in Orange history have been mentioned. Which brings us to our best point guard, who may be the best player in SU’s history.
That would be Dave Bing, who is the only Syracuse alum enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Bing was SU’s all-time leading scorer for over 20 years before Sherman Douglas vaulted him in the record books. But just like Pearl Washington, Bing was also a fantastic passer. Assists were not a stat until his senior season when he averaged almost seven per game.
In a slower era, Bing averaged a double-double at SU, averaging almost 25 points and over 10 rebounds per game. It’s not unreasonable to think that he racked up quite a few triple-doubles on The Hill. In his senior year, he was named an All-American after finishing fifth in the country in scoring.
It was Bing who turned Syracuse from a faltering program into the winner that it has been since. With Bing at the helm, SU went from 8-13 to a 22-6 team that led the nation in scoring.
Bing chose Syracuse over powerhouse UCLA after another SU legend – Ernie Davis – convinced him to come up north. Freshmen were not allowed to play varsity at the time. That resulted in more fans often attending freshmen squad teams to watch Bing, rather than see the varsity team play.
Of course, Bing was roommates with Jim Boehem who said Bing’s game was, “ahead of his time by about 40 years.” That didn’t stop Bing from becoming the second overall pick in the 1966 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons.
He went on to average over 20 points per game and six assists and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990.
Today, Bing’s No. 21 jersey hangs in the rafters in Detroit, and his No. 22 jersey was the first to ever be retired at Syracuse.
Now, Bing lives in Detroit after serving as the city’s mayor from 2009-2013. Whether it’s on the court or off, Bing is successful at whatever he hopes to achieve.
“Dave is the perfect example of professionalism, class, dignity, and humanity,” Oscar Robertson said. “He cares. He gets involved in the world.”