Syracuse Basketball: Top 3 triple-doubles in Jim Boeheim-era history

Syracuse basketball (Photo credit should read Maxi Failla/AFP via Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball (Photo credit should read Maxi Failla/AFP via Getty Images) /

Our hoops guru is taking a look at the best Syracuse basketball triple-doubles during the Jim Boeheim era.

Leading up to the 2021-22 Syracuse basketball campaign, it’s a good time for a 10-part series highlighting the best of the Boeheim-Era (1976-present).

I’ll give my takes, ranking the “Top 3” in many categories, from best free throw shooters to most exciting on a fast break. From top games in the Dome to top games in the NCAA tourney and, everything in between.

I was 7-years-old in 1976 when Jim Boeheim became head coach, and if I haven’t watched (or listened on the radio) intently to every single Syracuse basketball game since then, then it’s close to 98%.

Statistical facts in each Top 3 are fueled by the awesome web site.

Today, it’s my Top 3 Syracuse basketball Triple-Doubles (double-figure stats for one player in three main categories, in one game):

1. Feb. 19, 1983: Leo Rautins vs. Boston College. Rautins had 13 points, 11 rebounds, 13 assists. Syracuse won, 108-88.

Rautins, at 6-8, was one of the first “point forwards” in the game and is the all-time Boeheim-era triple-double king.  He achieved the mark two other times. One was against Georgetown which would seem to make it a lock for top triple-double ever, but Syracuse basketball lost that game, so it doesn’t rank.

Rautins, the leader of a series of great players from Canada to wear Orange through the years, also gave Syracuse fans his son Andy, a guard who like his dad, went on to become an NBA draft pick. Leo was selected in the first round by the 76ers in 1984 (Andy by the Knicks in the second round of the 2010 Draft).

As a kid growing up in Syracuse, Leo Rautins was my first true favorite player. I was 13 when Rautins went for this triple-double against BC. He actually was one of the first athletes I ever got an autograph from, on a napkin at Hancock Airport in Syracuse when by chance, I saw him walking by.

Today Leo is a broadcaster, serving as an analyst on Toronto Raptors games, and a great Twitter follow, @LeoRautins.

2. Feb. 26, 1996: Lazarus Sims at St. Johns. ‘Z’ had 17 points, 11 boards, 10 assists. Syracuse won, 92-79.

Sims, who grew up in Syracuse, was on the bench for ‘Cuse until his senior year in 1995-96. He made up for lost time by leading the Orangemen (along with John Wallace) to the Final Four, almost upsetting a loaded Kentucky team in the national championship game.

Interesting, but not surprising when you think about it, that Lazarus went on to play a couple of years for the Harlem Globetrotters. After all, he was a wizard with the basketball, delivering 281 assists his senior year, which is fifth-most all-time for the Orange.

He worked for the Syracuse basketball program from 2007-2012.

That triple-double vs. St. Johns at Madison Square Garden? Legendary.

3. Feb. 27, 2001: Allen Griffin vs. Pittsburgh. Griffin had 14 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists. Syracuse won, 80-69.

Griffin, now an assistant coach for Jim Boeheim’s team, is the shortest Syracuse basketball player to record a triple-double, at 6-feet tall. ‘Cuse was ranked No. 19 in the country when Griffin showed his versatile skills vs. Pitt, and the next game out he scored 31 in a double-overtime win at St. Johns.

Of note, the great Derrick Coleman is the only other ‘Cuse player to do it during the Boeheim years, on Dec. 19, 1989, vs. C.W. Post, with 16 points, 11 boards, 10 assists as Syracuse won 129-72.

Also of note, the legendary Dave Bing had three triple-doubles while at Syracuse in the 1960s, but Boeheim was his teammate, not his coach.

Next time: Top 3 Free Throw Shooters.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: Top 10 three-point shooters in history. dark