|1970-1971 Syracuse Orangemen|
|Overall||19-7||NIT Tournament||Schedule Results|
Coach: Roy Danforth
|Greg 'Kid' Kohls||Jr||G||26||26||211||458||46.0%
Syracuse was losing an experienced backcourt with the graduation of Ernie Austin and John Suder, but the front court was experienced and powerful with big Bill Smith, explosive Bob McDaniel and Bill Finney. Roy Danforth was hoping Greg Kohls could provide the perimeter shooting he would need, and that Mike Lee and Mark Wadach would be able to translate their success from the freshman team to the varsity. Tommy Green, while not much of a shooter, was an excellent playmaker and would be counted on to run the offense.
Unfortunately Finney would be lost for the season before it even began with achilles tendon surgery on December 3rd. McDaniel would play well in the first game against Buffalo State, scoring 14 points and pulling down 14 rebounds. He however would face disciplinary issues with Danforth, resulting in a suspension, and then he quit the team. Danforth would move Lee to forward to replace Finney, and Wadach would step in to replace McDaniel, giving the Orangemen a much smaller but quicker lineup.
Syracuse would win its first five games easily. Smith was providing his scoring, and Kohls was providing excellent perimeter shooting, leading the team in scoring three of those games. The Orangemen would then go into a skid where they lost four out of five games.
They lost to #5 ranked Penn in the Quaker City tournament in a close overtime game. The Orangemen would go into overtime again the next game, which was against Army. Kohls would make a lay up with 3 seconds to go to tie the game up and send it into overtime. Kohls would be the hero again in overtime, when with 30 seconds left and the Orange down by one point, he grabbed the rebound from a missed Bill Smith free throw, and made the basket, getting fouled in the process. Kohls would make the free throw, and the Orangemen would hold on to win.
Syracuse would right its losing streak with a win over Pittsburgh. The Orangemen faced American University is a match up of Syracuse's Smith and American's Kermit Washington. Smith would have the best of Washington, scoring 28 points and pulling down 30 rebounds, in a Syracuse 103-82 win.
Smith would have a more stellar game his next outing. Against Lafayette, Smith would score a school record 47 points, and the Orangemen won 106-92.
Syracuse would win four straight before losing a tough one point game to Temple. The Orangemen would win six in a row, including a win over #10 LaSalle, before facing Massachusetts and their high profile player Julius Erving (later known as Dr. J). Syracuse was no match for Erving, as he scored 36 points, pulled down 32 rebounds and had 7 assists, leading the Minutemen to a 86-71 lead. Smith and Wadach both fouled out for Syracuse. Making things worse for the Orangemen was Kohls having a poor shooting night both from the floor and the free throw line.
Syracuse would then have a thrilling double overtime win against Rutgers. Rutgers had tied the game up at 74-74 in regulation on a pair of free throws. Syracuse would tie the second overtime up at 79-79 when Bill Smith made both of his charity shots. The Orangemen would then pull away in the second overtime to win it. Both Smith and Kohls scored 31 points in the game, the first time two Syracuse players both scored 30+ in a game.
The Orangemen would beat Niagara in a close game to close the regular season, earning the Orangemen an NIT bid, their first post season action since the 1966-1967 season.
Syracuse would face the Michigan Wolverines in the first round of the NIT. Syracuse would come up short in the game against a more balanced Wolverine team. Smith led the Orangemen with 27 points and 14 rebounds; Mike Lee also had 14 rebounds in the loss.
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