Christmas came early this year for Boeheim haters. After Syracuse’s 100-85 loss to Colgate those who live to hate on the hall of famer came out of their caves to call for his job. This happens every year, SU loses to a team it definitely shouldn’t and these same people come back every year saying it’s time for Jim to go. They’re wrong every time. Saturday’s loss was an ugly one, and Boeheim knows that, as he told us in the post-game press conference:
“We have got to be able to defend better…when we did get some stops, we didn’t get the ball. They’re getting physical with [Jesse Edwards], he’s got to learn, he cannot just get pushed out of the way. He’s got to be able to rebound the ball, both him and Frank [Anselem].”
Boeheim knows Syracuse shouldn’t have lost that game, but he also knows there’s plenty of time for this team to get better. Last year, the Orange were counted out of NCAA tournament contention plenty of times. After the 20-point Pitt loss in January, the Duke loss in February, and the Georgia Tech loss in February. Yet where did they end up? The Sweet 16. Syracuse has what almost every other college basketball program doesn’t; one of the best coaches in the game. Coach Boeheim sees the mistake in SU’s defense and will attack them in practice this week. Are they going to be perfect next time out? Probably not. Will they lose another game they shouldn’t? Most likely, but by the end of the year, Boeheim and the rest of his staff will sculpt this roster into the best team it can be.
The other major factor here is that with a Syracuse team with so many new faces, the zone is going to struggle, and once again Boeheim recognizes that:
“Benny’s still trying to learn the defense, he was in when he should’ve been out a couple times, and a couple times when he did get back in we didn’t make a play.”
“We’re not winning any games if this is the defense.”
Luckily for SU, game 1 of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament is a cupcake. Syracuse faces off against VCu at 5 pm tomorrow from the Bahamas. The Rams haven’t looked anywhere near good so far on the young season. 2-2 on the year, the most points VCU has scored thus far came against Saint Peter’s in which the Rams won 57-54. If the Orange don’t cruise past VCU, maybe then it’s time to panic. Until then, give the hall of famer some credit, and trust Jim Boeheim to improve this team.