Orange Fizz


Ranking Syracuse Performances on Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is typically a day for one sport: football. But historically, Syracuse has played more on the hardwood on this holiday. Here’s the Orange Fizz ranking of the games SU men’s basketball has played on Thanksgiving (since 1970).

4. 1996: Kentucky 87, Syracuse 53

Syracuse fell by over 30 points to the eventual champions of the 1996 Great Alaska Shootout. It’s the only loss on the list, so the game is an easy last place, but it was a generally bad showing from the Orange.

Only two SU players tallied double-digit points: Otis Hill with 17 and Jason Cipolla with 11. As a team, the ‘Cuse shot 30% from the field and 9% from deep. It was a Thanksgiving to forget for Orange fans.

3. 2021: Syracuse 92, Arizona State 84

SU held on to a shootout win to a bad ASU team in the consolation bracket, but there were some nice performances.

All five starters put up at least ten points. Buddy Boeheim scored 23 in a non-Buddy Buckets fashion. He only had one three pointer. Cole Swider also shined, with a 19 point and 11 rebound double-double. 

2. 2000: Syracuse 92, DePaul 84

Same score and against a similarly poor opponent as number three on this list, but there was a better single-player performance in the quarterfinals of the 2000 Great Alaska Shootout. Plus, Syracuse would go on to win the tournament, so it was the start of something great.

Preston Shumpert was on fire. He scored 36 points on 6/8 shooting from deep. Current assistant coach Allen Griffin added 20 points. This was a much more exciting show to watch than the Thanksgiving parade.

1. 2015: Syracuse 79, UConn 76

This is an easy selection for the top spot. The win over a former Big East rival in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis was so, so sweet. Syracuse won the tournament the next day, but the highlight of the week was taking down UConn.

It was such a classic SU win. Michael Gbinije tallied 16 points and 7 assists, with Trevor Cooney, Tyler Lydon, Tyler Roberson, and Malachi Richardson also in double figures. 

The icing on the cake? There were plenty of SU fans there. The crowd shouted out “let’s go Orange” chants that were audible on TV, and the Husky fans weren’t happy. That’s always something to be thankful for. 

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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