These days the transfer portal speculation runs all day, every day. More than 1,000 college basketball players are looking for new homes, not to mention the potential domino effect of those decisions. Playing time, shots taken, points scored, and starting jobs are all on the line with every one of these transfer situations.
It has led to fan bases and media of major programs like Syracuse conjecturing about possible fits and puzzle pieces. It’s almost like fantasy basketball for college. Jimmy Boeheim is certainly an amazing potential story. He is the eldest of the Boeheim children, and has played his college ball at Cornell. He’s also the Big Red’s best player, and says a decision is coming soon.
The 6’8″ Boeheim averaged a team-high 16.7 points and 5.6 rebounds in 21 games in ’19-’20. But he put his name into the transfer portal back in November when the Ivy League canceled its season. His younger brother Buddy said Jimmy was upset by the decision. Immediately, everyone assumed the Boeheim family would convene on the Hill this offseason. A dad coaching his two sons at the place he made a Hall of Fame career? While it’s rare for Ivy League players to make an impact in the power conferences, this is more than a good story.
Yes, the narrative writes itself. But Jimmy actually fits well into the Syracuse puzzle. He was effective against high-major competition in the few chances he got in Ithaca, going for 17 points, six rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal at #20 Penn State as a junior. Against Syracuse, he had a game-high 25 points, two rebounds and two assists. The best team in the Ivy was Yale in ’20, and he notched 17 points, four rebounds and four assists.
Jimmy would be part of the depth off the bench, and who couldn’t use his smooth stroke? Mike Brey jokingly asked Jim Boeheim wether he would allow his son to come play in South Bend. Other power conference teams are looking at Jimmy too. His outside game would complement the current SU starting five, and his length is perfect for the zone. The Orange have churned out a factory line of long-winged 6’8″ shooters.
The explosion by Buddy in the postseason also lends credence to the theory that the Boeheims are late-bloomers. With a basketball IQ and work ethic instilled by dad and DNA for the game, Jimmy had grown every year in college hoops. As an 18-year old the Ivy League was perfect. Now, the ACC is a much better fit.
Plus, if this is dad’s final ride, coaching Buddy and then heading into the sunset, doing it with both sons would be even sweeter. Jimmy is well-aware of the bond his brother and father now share, and the attention that has received. If Jimmy decided on Syracuse, it’s more than a good story. It’s a smart basketball decision.