|1935-1936 Syracuse Orangemen|
Coach: Lew Andreas
Syracuse was returning only one starter, center Ed Sonderman. Smooth shooting junior Johnny Simonaitis was set to start in one guard position. Captain Marc Guley started the season ill, so Ollie Scott took the other guard position. Sophomores Jack Curran and Norm Leavitt would start in the forward positions. The team was very inexperienced, and their lack of consistency showed.
Syracuse had the ability to win its first five seven games against some impressive opponents. Guley would get healthy enough to return to the starting lineup, and Scott would share time with Sonderman at center. They had a big lead against Michigan State, which they dwindled, finally resulting in a close victory for the Orangemen. The team jumped to a big lead against Rochester, then lost that lead in the second half. Inspired play by Scott and Guley rallied the Orange to victory.
Syracuse would lose their first game of the season at Penn State on January 15th. The Nittany Lion guards outplayed the Orange forwards, resulting in a one point victory. Syracuse then faced a tough Notre Dame team at home. The Orange led 27-25 at half time behind some outstanding shooting by Simonaitis and Sonderman. However, the Fighting Irish came on strong during the second half, beating Syracuse 46-43, and snapping Syracuse's 35 game home court winning streak.
After the consecutive losses, Coach Lew Andreas moved Guley to forward, and started Scott at guard, taking Curran out of the starting lineup. The move seemed to provide some improvement for Syracuse.
A couple of games later, the Orangemen would play a wild game against Rutgers. With 30 seconds to go, Sonderman followed up on a missed basket and tied the game 35-35. In overtime, Rutgers would lead most of the period, but Syracuse tied it up with about a minute to play. With time expiring, Leavitt would dribble the length of the court and find Simonaitis open, who would shoot a jumper to give Syracuse a one point lead. Time would then expire before Rutgers could get the ball back down court.
Syracuse would travel to St. Lawrence in late February, and would be overwhelmed in a loss. They would then lose their next two, 34-30 in a poor shooting effort against Niagara, and were upset by Colgate 37-32, despite a strong 19 point effort by Simonaitis.
Syracuse, which had set high levels of standards for success, finished the season with 5 losses, their most since 1931-1932. They also lost three games at home, after having a 35 game home winning streak.
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