A Tribute To The 1918 Helms National Champions | Syracusefan.com

A Tribute To The 1918 Helms National Champions

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1918 Helms Foundation National Champions

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Syracuse University Orangemen

Ed Dollard had lower expectations for the squad as he had lost three starters from the previous year,

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including top scorer Wilbur Crisp

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and the speedy Bill Rafter. He and Syracuse fans would instead be in for a pleasant surprise.

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Led by All-American captain Joe Schwarzer the 1917-1918 team went 16-1 and was voted the National Champions of college basketball by the Helms Foundation. Schwarzer was an excellent ball handler and free throw shooter, and the offense flowed through him.

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Johnny Cronauer and Charley Dolleywere excellent shooters, Cronauer leading the team in scoring from the court (Schwarzer had the most total points).

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Bob Marcus and John Barsha
formed one of the strongest defensive guard combinations in the country, and were adept at shutting down the opposing players.

They would continue winning all season and have 23 consecutive wins. Schwarzer would miss a few games late in the season due to measles, and Marcus would replace him at center.

Syracuse's lone defeat that year came to Penn, in a game they lost 17-16 on the last game of the season. Penn's star player Sweeney made 15 of 16 free throws in the game; Penn had only one field goal in the victory. Schwarzer, normally a solid free throw shooter went 5-13 that day.

The Orangemen had easily beaten Penn earlier in the season (with a final score that looked closer than what actually happened)..

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Ed Dollard Head Coach of the 1918 Syracuse National Champions

To learn more about Ed click here or here

Here are the team stats

Here's a nice story as told by Sean Kirst of the Post Standard last September about two brothers who were on that team. He tells it at St. Patrick's gym from the Old Parochial League.
Click

Most of the material to compile this piece were borrowed from Orange Hoops.Org where they have done a wonderful job of documenting the history of Syracuse Basketball from 1900 to the present. My thanks go out to Ray L. Young for doing such a fantastic job and making this piece possible.
 
John Barsha was the father of long time WSYR TV Newman Jerry Barsha. Schwartzer was also one of the best players on the football team...excellent 2 sport player.
 

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