45th-year Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim chatted with the media ahead of the upcoming season. Check out his thoughts on the departure of Dior Johnson, Covid-19 protocols and newcomers Kadary Richmond and Alan Griffin.
On Dior Johnson’s De-Commitment
Boeheim is not allowed to mention Johnson by name, but he certainly addressed him here.
“We did not commit anybody in the class of 22 at any time. That means me committing to somebody. That never happened. what kids do out there is taken as reality by the media. It’s not reality… We can’t talk about recruits so you don’t know who we’re recruiting…. we’ll definitely need backcourt help. And we’re interested in people in the backcourt who want to be here, who aren’t interested in the NBA. We know guys want to be in the NBA, but as long as they want to come to college and are committed to college, that’s what we want. If it’s one year, that’s fine. But most of the guys we’re recruiting, all of them in fact, want to to come to college… When guys are thinking about coming out of high school, they’re not good prospects.”
Buried in the middle of Boeheim’s long answer to this question was conformation that he has no plans of retiring when Buddy Boeheim graduates. Or at the very least, he’s telling class of ’22 recruits that he’ll be coaching.
It seems the Orange are doing everything they can to ensure one positive test won’t spell disaster…
“What we’re trying to do is keep them spaced out during practice. For me, I’m close to a player for just two minutes. Any player. So if something were to happen, I test positive, I’m not near the players the whole practice. We’re trying to show everybody: the county and the state that we’re not all positive if one of us happens to be. We’ve invested in some chips, some technology that actually times exactly how long I’m within six feet of a player.”
Sports Information Director Pete Moore explained the tracking data technology will be used as evidence to avoid mandatory quarantines in the case of a positive test on the team.
“For our players, we don’t play much man-to-man, we don’t let them do drills together so they’re not together. Even when they go home they have to go to their room and use their bathroom. It hurts us a little bit because we’re not coming together, there’s not as much unity. We have no meetings, no film sessions. The coaches have no meetings and whenever the coaches are on the court they wear masks…. we’re probably not going to have Thanksgiving dinner together. We’re just trying to be as careful as we can.”
“You don’t sit still and you don’t give up. I’m 100 percent against that. And I see that out there today. I don’t think you give up I think you try to work through it. You establish protocols you try to keep yourself healthy, your players healthy, but you don’t sit home. If that’s the answer, I think we’re in trouble as a country.”
On Kadary Richmond and Alan Griffin
Boeheim said that it was too early to tell what kind of role could be carved out for freshman bigman Frank Anselem, but he was willing to speak on these two in detail.
“I think Kadary Richmond has shown in ractice that he’s more than capable of helping us. Obviously, Alan Griffin has proven he can play in college already, and has fit in well with what we’re doing.”
“[Alan Griffin] is probably the highest motor player I’ve seen in a while. I have to go back to Baye Moussa Keita… I haven’t seen that many perimeter players who have that kind of motor. ON every play he’ll go after a rebound from 20 feet away from the play and go get it above the rim. Loose ball he’ll get it from 25 feet away. I usually don’t use the words ‘high motor guy’ but he’s that guy.”
“[Kadary Richmond] is good with the ball, he’s a really good penetrator. He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes for a freshman. He’s got a better jumpshot than people thought. He’s a good finisher, he makes good decisions, good defensively. He’s a good player. Even if he doesn’t play great, he’s gonna play. He’s the first guy in the back court off the bench… I think people underrated him because they thought he was a small forward… he’s a point guard, 100 percent.”