Syracuse Basketball: Top 3 scorers in Jim Boeheim-era history

Syracuse basketball (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /
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1. Lawrence Moten, 1991-1995.

I remember the first time I saw Moten play for Syracuse basketball. It was an exhibition game his freshman year in 1991, and unlike some other freshman who had come to the Dome in the past or even of that year, Moten was unheralded. I would say he was almost completely overlooked.

But then Moten got into the game. And the ball just seemed to find him. And he played so calm and cool. He was so smooth and wasn’t afraid to shoot. And he put the ball into the basket.

“Who is this guy?” quickly became, “Start this guy!” among the fan base.

Moten was inserted into the starting lineup the third game of the regular season vs. Florida State, two games later scored 21 points vs. St Josephs, and the rest is history.

“Poetry in Moten” was born. We had ourselves a special player. Moten’s presence, awareness, demeanor in all facets of the game befitted the nickname.

And he scored. In fact, Moten became the all-time leading scorer in Big East Conference history. He was rookie of the year in the Big East, and first-team All-Big East three times. He had six games where he scored 30 or more points, mostly from mid-range.

In his four-year career for Syracuse basketball, Moten averaged 19.3 points (a consistent 18.2 his freshman year, 17.9 as a sophomore, 21.5 as a junior and 19.6 his senior season), for 2,334 points, which remains the all-time Syracuse University scoring record. He scored almost 200 points more than No. 2 all-time scorer Derrick Coleman, and the next closest on the all-time list who played after Moten is G-Mac, more than 200 points behind.

Moten was drafted in the second round by the expansion Vancouver Grizzlies, his game didn’t really translate to the NBA and he lasted three years in the league, scoring 747 points.

Given the new trend of great players leaving school early, my bet is Lawrence Moten will hold the career Syracuse basketball scoring record forever. And anyone who watched his poetry on the court is good with that.