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Why Gerry McNamara Should be Syracuse’s Next Head Coach

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On Wednesday we took a look at why Adrian Autry is more than deserving of being named the next head basketball coach at Syracuse. But what about the man he sits next to on the bench? Gerry McNamara’s resume has plenty of accolades on it, and we’ll get into the reasons why he might be an even better choice to replace Jim Boeheim.

McNamara’s career as a player at SU is almost unmatched. The 2003 NCAA Tournament run. A 40-point 2004 NCAA Tournament performance. The 2006 Big East Tournament. There are so many memorable moments from his career that it’s almost impossible to pick just your three favorite moments.

The four-year starter‚Äôs playing career undoubtedly plays into his candidacy. When recruiting, players know who he is, they remember him, they see that he‚Äôs been at the top of the mountain before. That is a huge advantage compared to other coaches who don‚Äôt have those same experiences. 

Then you look at McNamara‚Äôs coaching career, where he‚Äôs been an assistant under Boeheim since 2011, only five years after he finished playing at SU. As the lead recruiter and coach for the guards. Here‚Äôs who he‚Äôs had an impact on during his coaching career. 

Michael Carter-Williams, Tyler Ennis, Michael Gbinje, Frank Howard, Tyus Battle, and Buddy Boeheim just to name a few. All of them either led Syracuse to at least the Sweet 16 or were a first-round NBA draft pick. That’s a pretty good case, with some others who have succeeded as well.

He’s from the Northeast. Syracuse has had real trouble recruiting the New York-New Jersey-Philadelphia area since Mike Hopkins departed, and while McNamara has been on the bench in that time, he can revive that recruiting pipeline. The bottom line is, Syracuse needs more talented players to compete for national titles and even just ACC titles. That can change under McNamara.

Guards win championships in college basketball. If you look at all the past champions going back to 2012 (Kentucky and Anthony Davis), the team was run by a strong point guard and had other perimeter players who had strong influences on the game. A former point guard at the helm would be a great way to appeal to the best guards in the country and bring Syracuse back.

McNamara has the name recognition throughout college basketball to make ripples and was much more successful as a player than other in-house hires like Hubert Davis and Jon Scheyer. 

Player relationships are everything today in college basketball. With freedom of movement via the transfer portal, connecting with players is paramount. McNamara has excelled in developing relationships with his guys and would do the same as the head coach.

With his pedigree as a player, what he’s shown as an assistant coach and the results on the court, there is no doubt Gerry McNamara would be successful as the head coach at Syracuse.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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