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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2. Billy Owens, 1988-1991.

Unlike Moten, Billy Owens came in with all the hype. One of Boeheim’s greatest coups ever as a recruiter, Owens was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in an Orange uniform before he ever played a game for Syracuse basketball.

A 6-8, do-everything power forward, Owens joined a star-studded team as a freshman and still managed to average 13 points per game. Then as a sophomore, he tallied 18.2 ppg, before big-time scorers Derrick Coleman and Stevie Thompson graduated, leaving the team in Owens’ hands as a junior.

In his 1990-91 junior campaign, Billy Owens became the first player to ever average more than 20 points per game for Jim Boeheim. Owens averaged 23.2 points, and he had 30 or more points in eight games. He lead the Orange to a 26-4 regular season record that year (the team inexplicably fell apart in the postseason).

Owens was All-Big East his sophomore year and the Big East Player of the Year as a junior.

Owens went pro after that junior year and was drafted No. 3 overall by Sacramento. He went on to play 10 productive years in the NBA, averaging 11.7 points per game.

In all, Syracuse basketball was 82-21 for Owens’ three years, living in or around the top 10 in the national rankings every year. He started all 103 games he played, scored 1,840 points (17.9 ppg) on 50.5% shooting. His points total is 12th all-time for Syracuse, second behind only Dave Bing for players who only played 3 years in Orange.

Billy’s son, Chaz, is a sophomore on this year’s ‘Cuse squad.