With Mother’s Day in the rearview mirror, the gifts given and the Hallmark cards exchanged, Juli Boeheim is hoping both of her sons shine in the Dome next year. She won’t have to mix and match orange and Cornell red anymore. Jimmy and Buddy are on the same squad, but nobody knows exactly what to expect.
A mother never plays favorites. Fanbases do. Buddy Boeheim’s hot streak to the Sweet 16 won’t be forgotten. More dangerously, it will be expected of him to match his All-American caliber run. Buddy emerged as one of the nation’s elite mid-range shooters last year, which helped keep defenses a little more honest. But even if Buddy gifted Juli a paint brush for Mother’s Day yesterday, everyone knows he won’t be a big threat inside. That being said, Boeheim still has room to grow. The junior had four COVID-bumps in the road last season, and as his father insisted all along shooters need to shoot to find and keep their rhythm. Who knows? If Buddy is unfettered and shoots the lights out in 2021-2022, he might be able to buy his mom a gift off an NBA salary next Mother’s Day.
Then there’s the older brother, Jimmy. The Cornell transfer’s role is less defined for next year, but his father brought him in for a reason. Marek Dolezaj (professional basketball), Quincy Guerrier (NBA/transfer), Robert Braswell (transfer), Woody Newton (transfer), Alan Griffin (NBA) are all gone. Someone needs to play the wing opposite Benny Williams. He’ll compete with Villanova transfer Cole Swider for minutes. But expect both to get plenty of time, especially Jimmy. The grad student provides Zone awareness, which SU sorely missed on the wings last season. With 16.7 points per game in 2019, he can score from three levels at will, at least more so than his younger brother.
So it’s a good time to be Mama Boeheim. Almost every mother has flowers, cards and gifts to show for yesterday, but Juli is the only one who has those things from two Syracuse basketball staples for next season.