With the new season on the horizon, Jim Boeheim, Tyus Battle and Frank Howard traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina to partake in ACC Media Day. Battle and Howard fielded questions in the morning and Boeheim in the afternoon. Boeheim also made a telling appearance on SportsCenter this morning. There, obviously, was a lot of topics covered so I took the liberty of pulling the best quote from each of Syracuse’s representatives in Charlotte.
“We understand what the narrative is of our team. And we play with that chip on our shoulder every day and we could be the number one team in the country and we would still have that chip on our shoulder. We just want to come out, work hard and prove it to ourselves”.
This quote is interesting for a couple of reasons. The first part is not something new. Syracuse always seems to be a team that acknowledges the existence of the media and the narrative that is presented around it. It is probably safe to say they get that from a certain someone who is never shy about calling out the media. The whole “chip on our shoulder” thing is not new either. It is probably Syracuse’s best chance to win some big games. It is a young team with a lot of new faces and playing with that energy, especially in a 2-3 zone, can go a long way. And speaking of young…
“We are definitely young. A lot of new guys… but I think we genuinely like each other. I think we gel well as a team. We are definitely gonna surprise some people.”
There it is again. The defiant “we are gonna surprise people”. Syracuse fans should be happy with this. In fact, it sounds kind of familiar. It is reminiscent of Dino Babers and the new attitude that he brought to Syracuse football. And that has certainly paid off these last few weeks. There will probably be those growing pains that come with a new, young team but there is potential. Last season, Syracuse often looked like five individuals rather than one team. Battle may just be speaking out of his you-know-what but if what he says is at all true, that is a big positive.
“Forever… I want to coach as long as I can.”
This quote, in response to a question on SportsCenter this morning should not come as a surprise to many. I was never of the belief that he was going to retire when his “three years” were up, regardless of Mike Hopkins’ career prospects. Boeheim claims that age is just a number, citing Warren Buffet who is 87. If he still has the energy and drive to coach, is there an age that is “too old”? Will he reach an age where he is so completely out of touch with his players and their interests that he becomes a detriment to recruiting? I am not sure if there is a correct answer to those questions but Jim Boeheim is planning on making sure he sticks around long enough for us to find those answers.