The Year In Review

A national championship, a football coach under fire, the resignation of a basketball coach. It's been an eventful year for Syracuse athletics, one that's not soon to be forgotten. In case you missed it, here's a recap of what happened in 2003.<br><br>

January: 18: Guard Billy Edelin, who was suspended his entire freshman year under allegations of sexual assault, and was suspended again for NCAA rules violations for playing in an outside league, made his collegiate debut against Pittsburgh. When Edelin entered the game, he was greeted with a smattering of boos- some students held up signs saying, "No means no." Edelin scored two points and grabbed a rebound in seven minutes as the Orangemen lost to then-No. 3 Pittsburgh, 73-60, at the Petersen Events Center.

February: 1: Syracuse students rushed the court on three separate occasions after the Orangemen upset then-No. 2 Pittsburgh, 67-65, in front of 30,303 fans at the Carrier Dome. With less than two minutes to go, and Pittsburgh leading by four points, senior Kueth Duany cut the lead in half with a put back with 1:25 left on the clock. Jeremy McNeil was then fouled, and was sent to the line. McNeil, who at the time was a 29 percent free throw shooter, nailed both free throws to knot the game. The Orangemen regained possession after Carmelo Anthony forced Pittsburgh guard Jaron Brown into a turnover. With only 14 seconds left, Gerry McNamara drove down the lane and missed a layup, but the rebound fell right to McNeil, who tipped the ball in for the two point lead. Fans rushed the court, only to find there was still 0.8 seconds left. Brandin Knight nailed a desperation 3-pointer as fans rushed the court for a second time. After officials conferred, the shot was waved, and the Dome crowd again flooded the court after one of the most entertaining games of the 2002-03 college season.

23: Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points and Hakim Warrick added 17 as the Orangemen defeated Michigan State, 76-75 before a sellout crowd of 14,759 at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, MI. It was Michigan State's 80th consecutive sellout crowd and it was just the fifth time that the Spartans lost in front of a sellout.


9: An NCAA on-campus record 33,071 people witnessed #12 Syracuse complete its first undefeated home season in the Carrier Dome with an 83-74 win over Rutgers. Syracuse finished the 2002-03 home portion of the schedule with a 17-0 record. It marked SU's first perfect home record since the 1978-79 team went 13-0 at Manley Field House.

18: Syracuse women's basketball coach Marianna Freemen resigns after a 10-year tenure. The Orangemen were inconsistent during Freemen's stint in Syracuse, posting a 104-174 record and a 56-116 record in the Big East conference. Freemen experienced the pinnacle and bowels of coaching. When the Orangewomen finished the 1999-2000 season 10-18 overall and 3-13 in the Big East, the entire team went to athletic director Jake Crouthamel to ask for a replacement, saying they were tired of losing. But Freemen had her high points, like guiding the team to a NCAA Tournament berth in 2001-02, the first time the Orangewomen accomplished that feat since 1988. Freeman also patrolled the sidelines when Syracuse stunned No. 1 Connecticut, 62-59, in 1996, breaking the Huskies 33-game conference win streak.

23: Syracuse turned around a second-half deficit for the 14th time in the 2002-03 season and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament's "Sweet 16" after beating Oklahoma State, 68-56 at the Fleet Center in Boston. The Orange trailed by 17 in the first half and as many as seven after the intermission, before rallying.


5: Freshman Carmelo Anthony scored a career-high 33 points to lift SU to a 95-84 semifinal win over Texas in the NCAA Tournament. Anthony's 33-point outburst set an NCAA tournament standard as the most points scored by a freshman in a Final Four game. It also broke the SU freshman record for single-game scoring.

7: Syracuse (30-5) won its first-ever NCAA championship, defeating Kansas (30-8) 81-78, at the Louisiana Superdome. Carmelo Anthony scored 20 points, hauled down 10 rebounds and dished out seven assists, while Gerry McNamara drained six-first half 3-pointers. Kansas guard Michael Lee had a chance to tie the game, but Hakim Warrick swatted away Lee's shot with 1.5 seconds left, creating one of the most memorable plays in Syracuse history. For Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim, it was his first national championship as head coach in his 27 years.

24: Choking back years, Carmelo Anthony announces his intentions to enter the NBA Draft. "I don't want to make it sound bad," Anthony said, "but there's really nothing more I could get out of college." Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, sitting to the left of Anthony, offers high praise for the National Freshman of the Year. "He has done more for Syracuse basketball," Boeheim said, "than any player we've ever recruited and has ever played here."

24: Junior second baseman Rachel Park went 6-for-8 with six runs batted in and five runs scored to lead the Syracuse softball team to a 13-3, 5-3 doubleheader sweep versus Siena. Park had a record-setting day at the plate. In game one, she tied the school record with four hits, including a home run and a double, becoming the only Orangewoman to ever have two four-hit games in her career. Her five runs driven in broke the SU single-game record as did her four runs scored. Her six hits on the day tied the most ever by a Syracuse player in a doubleheader.

30: Keith Cieplicki was named SU's fourth head women's basketball coach. Prior to his arrival, Cieplicki spent six seasons at Vermont where he compiled a 123-57 record, becoming the school's all-time winningest coach.

More on this article can be found in this month's issue of The Juice.

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