Draft Lookback: Syracuse in the '80s

With Jim Boeheim still young in his career as the Syracuse men's head basketball coach, the team found success and players found professional opportunities from that success. More inside.

As the 1970s saw an influx of Syracuse Orange men's basketball alum chosen in the NBA Draft, the 1980s raised the bar even higher. With nine selected from Syracuse University in the 1970s, the number rose to 15 in the 1980s.

The duo starring in Syracuse's "Louie & Bouie Show" were both offered an opportunity to attain a place in the NBA in 1980 when each were selected in the second round, Louis Orr at six and Roosevelt Bouie as the 11th pick.

Orr was the inaugural recruit for then new coach Boeheim in 1976-77, the first season for Orr as a player and Boeheim as a head coach.

He would average double-digits in scoring in his final three seasons with Syracuse, grabbing more than seven rebounds per game in that time period.

Orr would spend two seasons with the Indiana Pacers, who drafted him, followed by six seasons back in New York with the Knicks.

In half of his NBA career, four of eight seasons, Orr would be on a playoff squad.

He made just shy of 47% of his attempts from the field barely missing 10 points per game and grabbing more than three rebounds per game among his eight seasons.

Once he hung up his sneakers, he put on his shoes and coached as an assistant at Xavier (1991-94) and Providence (1994-96).

Orr would then return to his alma mater of Syracuse as an assistant to his former coach from 1996 through 2000.

He rose to the position of head coach of Siena in 2000 and left after one season to be at the helm of Seton Hall beginning in 2001 before becoming the head coach of Bowling Green in 2007.

His All Big East First Team honors in his senior season (1979-80) coupled with being named Big East Coach of the Year for the 2002-03 season made him the first person in Big East Conference history to receive all-conference acknowledgment as both a player and as a coach.

Bouie would dominate inside, blocking more than 70 tries by opponents in each of his four seasons with Syracuse, while grabbing at least eight rebounds per game.

He would aid the Orange to a 100-18 record in Boeheim's first four seasons, being an integral piece of Boeheim's history with helping him to his first and 100th wins.

Bouie would turn down his opportunity to play with the Mavericks to instead go overseas. He played in Italy for 13 seasons and in Spain for one.

Danny Schayes, Eddie Moss, and Marty Headd would follow in 1981. Schayes was the first off the board, going in the first round to the Utah Jazz. Moss followed when the Dallas Mavericks called his name in the fourth round. Headd would round out the trio that was drafted when he was chosen by the New York Knicks in the ninth round.

With Orr and Bouie in front of Schayes who stood 6'11" and played center, Schayes came off the bench for Syracuse in his first three seasons, becoming a starter when the "Louie and Bouie Show" departed in his senior season. As a result, his points per game average would more than double and his rebounds per game total would come just shy of doubling from his junior to his senior campaign.

Whether a reserve or a starter, Schayes made no less than 50% of his attempts from the field in all four of his seasons with the Orange.

After being drafted by and playing with the Utah Jazz, he would go on to play with the Denver Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Totaling 18 seasons, he played from 1981 through 1999, helping his teams to the playoffs in 12 of his 18 campaigns, competing in 69 postseason games.

Moss assisted his teammates almost as much as he scored. Spending most of his time looking for others, Moss did not average double-digits in scoring. Instead, he recorded more than four assists per game in three consecutive seasons.

As Syracuse's starting point guard in his junior and senior seasons, Moss had at least five assists per contest.

Despite being drafted, Moss would not play in the NBA.

Headd, though having to share the backcourt during much of his career at Syracuse, averaged no less than 11 points per game from his sophomore season through his senior year.

His point total was aided by the fact that he made more than half of the shots he took over his four-year collegiate career.

He would not compete in the NBA but did play in England in 1982, scoring in excess of 30 points per game.

Another trio would be drafted from Syracuse the following year. Leo Rautins went in the first round to the Philadelphia 76ers (former Syracuse Nationals), Erich Santifer to the Detroit Pistons in the third round, and Tony Bruin in round seven, also to the Knicks.

Rautins transferred to Syracuse after playing his freshman season at Minnesota where he ranked second in assists in the entire Big Ten Conference, behind only Earvin "Magic" Johnson.

In his first season with the Orange, Rautins' tip-in in the Big East Tournament would result in a win over rival Villanova and, more importantly, Syracuse's first-ever Big East Tournament championship.

He achieved a triple-double on multiple occasions, with his 12 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists against another adversary, Georgetown, marking the first time a player finished with a triple-double in a Big East Conference match.

Rautins would begin his NBA career with the 76ers, who drafted him, while also spending time with the Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks in two seasons total.

His knee, which held him out for part of his junior season with Syracuse, hampered his time on the floor in the NBA as well.

Along with playing in the states, Rautins was a member of the Canadian Naitonal Team from 1977-1982 and 1989-1992. He began competing as a member of the squad when he was 16 years old.

Santifer started his collegiate career playing alongside Orr and Bouie. In that freshman season, he went 13-for-15 for 29 points to aid the Orange in a victory of Villanova to open the NCAA Tournament in 1980.

He began his time at Syracuse as a forward but eventually switched to guard. As a guard in his junior and senior seasons, Santifer was the team's top scorer, averaging no less than 17 points per game in both seasons.

Though drafted, Santifer would not compete in the NBA.

Bruin, the other 1/3 of the tri-captain unit that included the aforementioned Rautins and Santifer, averaged more than 13 points per game in his junior and senior seasons during which he was named a team captain.

He, like Santifer, never played in the NBA after being drafted.

Sean Kerins was the lone Syracuse player to be drafted in 1984 when the New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Nets took him in the seventh round.

He spent his first three seasons at Syracuse coming off the bench in all but one game.

In his senior year, he started every game garnering his highest collegiate totals in points (11.1) and rebounds (5.6) per game.

Kerins did not make the Nets roster after being drafted.

Syracuse sent their third trio of the decade to the NBA Draft in 1986 where one player went per round in the first three rounds. Dwayne "Pearl" Washington was drafted in the first round by the Nets. Rafael Addison was taken off the board by the Phoenix Suns in the second round and Wendell Alexis was offered an opportunity in the third round by the Golden State Warriors.

Before Michael Carter-Williams was dishing to his teammates on the Orange, there was Washington. He amounted 18 assists in one match alone versus rival UConn and averaged no less than six assists per game in each of his three collegiate seasons. In his junior season, Washington recorded just under eight assists per contest.

That season would be his last as Washington became the first player to ever leave Syracuse early in the Jim Boeheim era.

While on the Orange, they went 6-1 in matches that ended in a one-point victory.

"Pearl" was named Big East Conference Rookie of the Year and made the conference's First Team in all of his three seasons at Syracuse.

Washington would compete in three seasons in the NBA with the Nets, averaging just under nine points and four assists per game.

Addison contributed a little over eight points off the bench as a freshman and rose the bar for steals in a game for a first-year Orange player at the time, with seven.

From his sophomore through to his senior season, he played and started in every match, averaging no less than 15 points and about six rebounds per game over those three seasons, playing at both the forward and guard positions.

A leg injury in his senior year worked against him as he ended his collegiate career just seven points behind Dave Bing's career scoring record.

Addison would join the Suns after they drafted him and competed in the NBA for six seasons, but his career had an interesting timeline. He began playing professionally in the NBA, then went overseas, returned to the NBA, and finished his career overseas. In the NBA, Addison played with the New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Nets, the Detroit Pistons, and the Charlotte Hornets after spending time with the Suns. Overseas he played in Italy the first time around and Greece to end his professional career. In Italy, Addison's play earned him the title of All-Star for five seasons.

Alexis came off the bench for each of his first three seasons with the Orange. In relief, he was good for about five rebounds per game and increased his points per game output to just under 10 by his junior season.

As a senior, Alexis would start after Andre Hawkins, a four-year starter, had finished his collegiate eligibility. In that season (1985-86), Alexis enjoyed his highest totals in field goal percentage (54.2%), points per game (15.2), and rebounds per game (7.4).

Though Alexis was drafted by the Warriors, he would not end up playing a game in the NBA. Instead, he took to the hard court overseas, beginning a professional career that started in 1987 and lasted through 2004. Alexis would play in Spain, Italy, Israel, France, and Germany.

The Syracuse alum won MVP honors in the Italian league, Israeli league, and German league, where he was donned MVP three times.

His final MVP honor came in 2004 when he was regarded to be the best of the FIBA Western Region.

In 1987, the New York Knicks drafted their first Syracuse player in six years when they chose Howard Triche in the sixth round.

Triche went from being a bench player who saw little action to a two-year starter between his junior (1985-86) and senior (1986-87) seasons.

He rose his points per game total by almost six points from his sophomore to his junior year and elevated that number to at least four more points per contest in his senior campaign.

The uncle of future Syracuse player Brandon Triche also rose his field goal percentage from around 35% in his first two seasons to at least 50% in his final two campaigns.

Despite his increased output in his collegiate career, Triche would not play in the NBA.

The Miami Heat would draft the final two Orange alum selected in this decade when they took Rony Seikaly in the first round of the 1988 draft and Sherman Douglas as the top pick of the second round in 1989.

At the center position for Syracuse, Seikaly started in all but three of the 136 contests that he played in after redshirting for the 1983-84 campaign.

He increased his point and rebound totals from season-to-season, ending his collegiate career with a little over 16 points and just under 10 rebounds per game.

Seikaly played close to the rim, never making less than 54% of his attempts in all four seasons.

On the defensive end, Seikaly blocked no less than 78 attempts in each of his last three seasons with the Orange.

He would go on to play with the Heat after being drafted by the franchise. From there, Seikaly would be a member of the Golden State Warriors, Orlando Magic, and New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Nets. Over 11 seasons, he would average just under 15 points and `0 rebounds per game.

Syracuse University retired Seikaly's jersey on January 13, 2007.

Douglas began his career behind Washington, playing in 27 games but not starting in any in his freshman season.

But when Washington decided to leave early for the NBA, Douglas had three years to grab the point position and hold on. He did just that, playing in and starting in every game from his sophomore to his senior year. In that time, Douglas would score no less than 16 points per game and dish out about eight assists per game.

He held the Big East Conference career assists record up until this past season (2012-13) when he was passed by Vincent Council of Providence.

Ironically, Douglas had 22 assists in one game versus Providence on January 28, 1989, which would be another record, this time for Syracuse.

Douglas would hold court in basketball history as once the all-time leading scorer for the Orange and all-time leader in career assist for the entire NCAA.

He would play with the Heat, who drafted him, followed by the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Nets, and Los Angeles Clippers, totaling 12 seasons in the NBA.

Douglas advanced to the postseason four times in his professional career.

He finished with 11 points and just under six assists per game.


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