Syracuse center Rakeem Christmas entered his senior season with just 504 points through his first three seasons. In order to become the 59th player in Orange history to reach the 1,000 career points mark, he would have to nearly double that production in just one year.
On Tuesday night at Notre Dame, he did just that as he continued one of the best single season for a Syracuse center in school history.
Christmas grabbed an offensive rebound off of his own miss and powered through contact for a bucket and the foul. That gave him the 1,000 career points that he would surpass seconds later as he completed the three-point play with a free throw.
Syracuse's leader for the 2014-15 season has seen his scoring improve from 5.8 to 18.2 points per game and rebounding from 5.1 to 9.2 per game. The improvement in Christmas' game is a credit to his dedication and offseason work ethic.
An offensive liability in the past, Christmas developed several low-post moves, a mid-range jumper, running hook shot and physically attacked the boards on both ends of the floor. In a season considered to be a down one by normal Syracuse standards, Christmas has been a positive storyline throughout.