AFTER ENTHUSIASTICALLY HELPING TO lead the Orangemen to the NCAA
title game as a freshman, forward Derrick Coleman seemed to sulk last
season. Rumor had it that the baseline wasn't big enough for both him
and senior center Rony Seikaly. Actually, according to Coleman, it
was a matter of his wanting to spread the wealth, not hog it. ''Sure,
last year I passed up some shots -- everyone was trying to help Rony
go out in style,'' Coleman says. Look for Coleman, as Syracuse's only
returning inside force, to reassert himself this fall. ''If the shot
is there, I'll take it,'' he says. And then he takes it a bit too
far: ''And I mean from three-point distance, too.''
Coach Jim Boeheim won't relish Coleman's tossing up treys,
especially since he has a slew of good perimeter people. Along with
the bluest chip of this year's recruiting class, Billy Owens (see
page 16), there's also junior guard Matt Roe, who has bulked up from
185 to 200 pounds, and junior Stevie Thompson, who will open at small
forward. ''I look for our quickness to take over for our power,''
says Thompson, who spent his summer shooting free throws,
Syracuse's perennial Achilles' heel.
Senior Sherman Douglas, whose 288 total assists in 1987-88 led the
Big East by 108, will direct the attack. ''Sure we'll miss Seikaly,''
Douglas says. ''But I'm not worried.'' Helping him to remain
unanguished are two 6 ft. 10 in. freshmen, Richard Manning, a smooth
inside scorer from North Highlands, Calif., and David Siock, a rugged
lefthanded jump shooter from Vestal, N.Y. Until one or the other
emerges, though, Boeheim will probably go with Owens, Coleman and
Thompson up front.
That puts big pressure on Coleman. ''People think I might be the
center,'' he says. ''No way!'' Indeed, if he has to play the pivot,
there will be no way for Syracuse to reach the Final Four.
This is an article from the Nov. 16, 1988 issue