Syracuse did not advance to the elite eight in 1994, but not to any fault of their senior point guard Adrian ‘Red’ Autry. In the Sweet 16, the Orange (4) met top-seeded Missouri. The Tigers led by eleven points with five minutes to go. That’s when Autry led a scoring barrage and surged SU into overtime. Autry finished the game with 31 points, all coming in the second half. That’s an NCAA Tournament record for points in a half. Unfortunately, Mizzou rallied in OT, winning 98-88. Quite the way to end a college career.
Earlier that season, Autry had a signature game with a much happier ending. In February 1994, Syracuse upstaged Kentucky, No. 4 in the country, inside the Carrier Dome, 93-85. Autry finished with a shining 30 point, 10 assist stat line, something Orange fans got accustomed to in the 93-94 season.
He averaged 16.7 points per game along with 6.1 assists as a senior, both career highs. His three point jumpshot connected 37 percent of the time, a vast improvement from his previous career mark of 33 percent. The campaign earned him First Team All-BIG EAST honors.
But Autry was a major contributor for all four years. He’s one of three players in SU history to lead the team in assists over all four seasons. He’s 5th on the all-time assists list, and 6th on the steals list.
Remember, Autry played with some of the best scorers in SU history. In ’91 Autry was the point guard when Billy Owens averaged 23.3 PPG. In ’92 Dave Johnson averaged close to 20. Finally, in ’93 and ’94 Autry fed backcourt partner Lawrence Moten, the all-time points leader in Syracuse men’s basketball history.
Without ‘Red’ dishing the rock, who knows if those prolific scorers would have put up the same numbers?
Autry wasn’t selected in the NBA draft, and spent his professional career abroad. In 2010, Syracuse welcomed him on-board as an associate head coach. He focuses on developing forwards, which means he’s already had a hand in sculpting the likes of Jerami Grant, Kris Joseph and Tyler Lydon.
He registered 631 career assists in Orange, and while that number isn’t going to change, ‘Red’ isn’t really done assisting.