Seth Davis's Free Throws

March 01, 2004
March 01, 2004

Table of Contents
March 1, 2004

Pro Basketball

Seth Davis's Free Throws


This is an article from the March 1, 2004 issue Original Layout

About this time last season Syracuse was starting to gain the
momentum that would help the Orangemen win the national title,
but what a difference a year makes. At week's end Syracuse (17-6,
7-5 in the Big East) had lost five of its last nine games, and
now it appears that junior point guard Billy Edelin, who left the
team in early February, will most likely miss the rest of the
season. "It's possible Billy could come back, but the percentage
is very small," says coach Jim Boeheim, who insists that Edelin
left for personal reasons and not because of any legal, academic
or NCAA issue. "He just has too much going on, and he's getting
further behind academically."

The absence of Edelin, who was averaging 13.8 points and 5.2
assists per game, has forced sophomore Gerry McNamara, the team's
only consistent three-point threat, to take over at the point,
which diminishes his effectiveness. He hit a buzzer-beater in
last Saturday's 57-54 win over Georgetown, but Syracuse committed
25 turnovers. Says Boeheim, "I think this team still has a chance
to be good without Billy, but we know we have our work cut out
for us."


Paul Millsap, Fr., F, Louisiana Tech

At 6'7", 225 pounds and with just 24 games of collegiate
experience, Millsap is an unlikely candidate to lead the nation
in rebounding, but there he was atop the category at week's end,
pulling down 12.4 boards a game. A former Louisiana Mr.
Basketball from Grambling High, Millsap is a force on the glass
because of his hustle and his nose for the ball. If he can keep
up his current pace, he could become just the second freshman
ever to win an NCAA rebounding title. (Kenny Miller of Loyola
[Ill.] was the first, in 1987-88.) Millsap also knows what to do
when he gets the ball. In addition to averaging a team-high 15.4
points a game for the 13-11 Bulldogs, he ranked second in the WAC
in field goal percentage, at 60.7%.