Starting the day off with our list’s No. 15, this man was an absolute force for the Orange, on the basketball court. After accepting his only Division I scholarship offer to play at SU, Sherman Douglas certainly proved all of his doubters wrong during his collegiate career.
As a sophomore in the 1986-1987 season, ‘The General’ led the Orange all the way to the NCAA National Championship Game, in which the team came up just short to Keith Smart and the Indiana Hoosiers. However, that definitely does not overshadow the season Douglas had, leading SU in scoring (17.3) and assists (7.6) while having a tremendous Big East tournament as well.
In 1987-1988, Douglas, along with Ronny Seikaly, led the way for a Syracuse squad that started the year as the top-ranked team in the nation. SU would come up short against North Carolina in its season opener, but bounced back to ultimately go 26-9 (11-5 in the Big East). Also, behind Douglas’s per game totals of 16.1 points, 8.2 assists and 2.0 steals, the Orange went on to win the Big East Tournament that season. Yet, despite heading into the NCAA Tournament having garnered high expectations, Douglas became ill, and was clearly not at his best. As a result, SU fell to Rhode Island in the second round.
As a senior in 1988-1989, Douglas came back to finish off his SU career with another standout season. The General notched career-highs in both points (18.2) and assists (8.6) per game for a Syracuse team that stayed in the Top 10 of the rankings, for most of the season. Despite unfortunately having his senior campaign cut short by Illinois in the Elite Eight, Douglas would go on to set several impressive marks that year.
Even though these records have since been broken, by the end of his career, Douglas had become Syracuse’s all-time leading scorer and the NCAA’s career leader in assists. He also set a Syracuse record with 22 assists in a single game against Providence – a mark that is yet to be broken.
After his distinguished career at Syracuse, Douglas was selected in the second round of the 1989 NBA Draft, by the Miami Heat. He would go on to play 12 seasons in the pros with five different teams.