Jim Boeheim doesn’t hide the fact that his team lost its top four players from last year’s squad which won a school-record 34 games and lost just three. Syracuse has come into the season ranked No. 9 in the AP preseason poll, which may catch some people by surprise. Even Boeheim believes his team is a mystery right now. Just take a listen to the following interview.
The Orange are preparing for their season opener against San Diego State on the U.S.S. Carl Vinson in San Diego on Nov. 9. It’s the last year Syracuse will be a member of the Big East.
Jim Boeheim joined The Score 1260 in Syracuse with Bud and the Manchild to discuss preparing for the season-opener against San Diego State on the U.S.S. Carl Vinson in San Diego, never imagining that his team would play a basketball game on the deck of a ship, his reaction to All-Access Kentucky on ESPN, having the right to do an All-Access TV show like that, the possibility of Syracuse doing such a show and the Orange having a ton of question marks this year.
How are you preparing for the outdoor game against San Diego State on the deck of a ship?
“You just have to prepare to play, and when you get out there we will practice the day before outdoors. And [we'll] probably shoot the day of the game, which we normally don’t do, but we probably will because it’s the outdoor venue and the hotel was close to the ship and we’ll probably go over and shoot. But it’s the same for both teams with the conditions. Whatever they may be will be the same. San Diego State is a very good team and when you start off the first game of the year against them, a top 20 team, that’s a challenge for us.”
Did you ever imagine you would be playing a game on the U.S.S. Carl Vinson in San Diego?
“No, not really. We’ve taken summer trips many times where we played almost all the games, not all the games, but most of the games have been outdoors and your kids adjust to it. Hopefully we’ll get a nice day in San Diego and the weather won’t be a problem.”
What’s your reaction to the All-Access Kentucky show on ESPN? Is it a recruiting tool?
“Well I haven’t seen it. Anything like that, for recruiting, they’ve really maximized your option. I think the top players in the country that are looking to go someplace for just one year have really … Kentucky has made that what they’ve hung their hats on and it’s worked for them. They’ve done a great job of getting guys in there for a year or two and getting them out and getting guys in right behind them. It’s very hard to do that and still be a top-10 team, which they have been able to do. You have to get the top five or six players in the country. You can’t get a top-20 player, you have to get two or three guys that really are top seven or eight in the country to be competitive in college basketball, and they’ve been able to do that. They are taking advantage of the rule. It’s an NBA rule. It’s not a college rule that you can stay one year and you can’t blame them for doing that. It’s been successful. It’s worked for them and it’s all within the framework of the rules.”
Do you think they should be allowed, in Kentucky, to have their own TV show in essence?
“I’m not sure the answer to that. I think that there was something brought up when Texas has its own football station. Obviously that is a recruiting tool; it does help you. Just any kind of exposure I think helps you, but Mike Krzyzewski is a good friend of mine and when he’s on TV in an American Express commercial, and all that helps Duke’s recruiting. Any of that exposure does, but I don’t think — within the rule frames; we got 400 pages of rules now — that you can legislate against a program having some kind of a TV show, I guess. I have not seen it.”
Would you do a TV show if ESPN came to you?
“I don’t know. If it’s showing practices and things like that, I don’t think [so] … Yeah, I think that would help from a publicity kind of view and recruiting point of view, but I’m not sure we would do that. I’m not sure if we would to be invaded that much, but in Kentucky that’s what they do. They made their program on the rules that are here. I don’t think anyone is completely comfortable that you are changing three or four players every year. I don’t think that anybody ever anticipated that to happen. We’ve lost one player — Carmelo Anthony after his freshman year — and I think the rest have been here at least two years and Donte Green. I guess we had two guys leave early. So that’s more normal, but Kentucky has made it work. Until the rules change, they are going to continue to do this I am sure.”
Have you made any decisions on who will start this year?
“No, I really haven’t. It’s pretty obvious that Brandon Triche, Michael Carter-Williams will start in the backcourt. C.J. Fair has earned his way into the starting lineup. We’re looking at the other two positions. We can play two big guys; we could play one big guy. We’ve got some options of things we can do. I think the important thing is we have nine guys who we think are good players and they’ll all play. We like our team. I think we have a lot more questions than people seem to think we do, losing the four guys we lost. They made all the big plays last year, when you look back on last year. We have a lot to replace and I think we have some growing pains to go through over the first few games of the season until where we see where we are. We have no idea right now where we are. Coming into last year we had a good idea of what our team was, with two seniors that have been there and been successful. We knew our center was improved coming into last year’s season — we could see that in practice — and we knew we had Brandon and C.J. We knew we had a much more stable lineup last year. This year we have question marks and I don’t think people have taken that into account.”
Tags: Big East basketball, Brandon Triche, Bud and The Manchild, College Basketball, Jim Boeheim, Kentucky Wildcats, NCAA Basketball, San Diego State Aztecs, Syracuse Orange, The Score 1260 in Syracuse