Boeheim: 'I'm pretty much ready to go play golf somewhere'
Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim was frustrated after Saturday's loss to Georgetown.
After all, Syracuse has now lost four of its last five games, and seven of its final 12. The 39 points were the Orange’s fewest since they beat Kent State 36-35 back in 1962. Syracuse’s NCAA tournament seed is falling, there are rumors about Boeheim retiring, and assistant coach Mike Hopkins has his eye on the USC job.
He was frustrated -- and so this happened:
Jim Boeheim: "I'm pretty much ready to go play golf somewhere."— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) March 9, 2013
Here’s guessing that quote will be analyzed and discussed for quite a while. Do I think Boeheim is giving up on this season and eyeing a retirement? Doubtful. Do I think he was joking? Probably.
But he’s frustrated -- and for good reason.
Syracuse completely lacked toughness and fight against Georgetown. The Orange hung around in the first half, but once the Hoyas went on a run in the early stages of the second half, it was over. Syracuse didn’t show many signs of staging a comeback, and it resulted in an embarrassing outcome.
Throughout the season -- even back when they were winning games -- Syracuse has lacked toughness and leadership. I wrote about it after a loss to Temple in December, and Jeff Goodman wrote about it last month (and also got reprimanded by Boeheim for even asking about it).
Last year, the Orange had players like Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph who could make a big shot and stop a run. Dion Waiters was able to make plays in a pinch. It was hard to go on an extended run against the Orange the past few years, mainly because they had that toughness and leadership that Final Four contenders possess.
Brandon Triche’s numbers are better this season, but he’s not shooting as well and is making far worse decisions with the ball. Michael Carter-Williams is supremely talented, but he’s taken a step back down the stretch. James Southerland’s shot has been inconsistent since returning from suspension. And that doesn’t even get into the interior play of Rakeem Christmas and Baye Keita, who lack the physicality of a Fab Melo.
Syracuse is reeling at the worst possible time, and it’s not showing any signs of turning it around.
If I were Boeheim, I’d probably rather play golf, too.
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