Wednesday, February 7, 2007
By Mike Ballard
CAMDEN Sydney Francis (Camden, NJ/Woodrow Wilson) spent only one season playing basketball at Rutgers University-Camden, but the senior forward made quite an impression on the New Jersey Athletic Conference.
Francis was recognized for his accomplishments Wednesday, earning All-NJAC Honorable Mention when the conference released its post-season awards.
Francis led Rutgers-Camden in scoring (14.2 points per game) and rebounding (8.4 rpg) this season while helping the Scarlet Raptors post a 6-19 record overall and a 2-11 mark in the NJAC. Not only did the Raptors’ six wins double their total of the previous two seasons combined, but it was the most victories in one year for Rutgers-Camden since the 2002-03 team went 8-17. The two conference wins were the Raptors’ only two NJAC victories since the 2003-04 team finished 2-10 in the conference.
Francis ended his career with a bang, scoring a career-high 31 points as the Scarlet Raptors defeated Kean University, 86-77, in a Senior Day game in Camden Feb. 17. He shot 10-for-18 from the floor, including 3-for-3 from three-point range, and went 8-for-12 from the foul line. In addition to his game-high scoring output, he had a game-high 12 rebounds as he finished his career with his eighth double-double of the year.
For the season, Francis hit double figures in scoring 20 times in his 25 games, while notching 10 double-figure games in rebounds. He added 33 assists, 37 steals and three blocked shots.
Francis earned an all-tournament team berth at all three tournaments in which the Scarlet Raptors competed this season, including MVP honors as Rutgers-Camden won the Hilton Holiday Classic at Keystone College (Dec. 2-3). He also made the all-tourney team at the Tom Masano/Sheraton Reading Tip-Off Tournament (Nov. 17-18 at Alvernia College) and at the Cyrus D. Jones Invitational (Jan. 6-8 at Lincoln University).
Francis also was recognized four times this season as Rutgers-Camden’s Raptor of the Week, winning the honor on Nov. 20, Dec. 4, Jan. 22 and Feb. 19.
Francis came to Rutgers-Camden after playing two years at Mercer County Community College and one season at Richard Stockton College. He earned all-conference honors during his sophomore season at Mercer after averaging 13.5 points and 5.0 rebounds.
Francis had an outstanding career as a student-athlete at Camden’s Woodrow Wilson High School. He was named the school’s Male Athlete of the Year during his senior season in 2001, earned an all-tournament team berth, a Coaches Award and was honored as Co-MVP of the high school all-star game. He also was named to a 2001 All-Defensive Team. As a student, Francis was listed in Who’s Who in America for Math.
A Social Work major at Rutgers-Camden, Sydney is the son of Melodye Francis of Camden.