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John Eads Responsds to the Boeheim Presser Situation

My phone has been blowing up for the past several hours over the events that took place in the press conference last night after Syracuse’s 72-68 loss to North Carolina. Here’s the video for those who aren’t aware of the situation…

I had asked a few questions prior to that one in an otherwise pretty quiet conference room. I also asked for coach’s thoughts on the free throw discrepancy. UNC had 23 chances at the charity stripe, while SU had just 3. I got a two-word response to that question. I also asked about improvements made in the paint in the second half to which I got basically an irrelevant side thought.

Then came that final question. What I’m not understanding is what the big deal is? Syracuse had an 11 point lead over #17 Miami last Monday in the second half. SU didn’t close it out down the stretch and lost 82-78. A similar scenario unfolded last night. The Orange had the lead 68-66 with under a minute left. Then the ‘Cuse just had to get a stop and make some free throws.

Instead, some unfortunate events played out like the JG3 assist to Pete Nance and Judah Mintz’s offensive fouls. Again, Syracuse fails to finish strong and loses 72-68, a four-point game…

So, that prompted me to ask what I thought was a simple question: Why can’t your team close out these tight games against good opponents? We just saw two exhibits of this SU team failing to do that in the past nine days. Is it the miscues? It is the youth? What is it? Well, obviously we did not get an answer.

In no way, shape, or form did I expect that kind of reaction and response from Coach. He declined by question emphatically, then proceeded to stare me down on his way out of the press conference room. My question was not opinionated in any way and it was purely based on fact.

Here’s the fact of the matter, Syracuse’s season is basically over at this point. Yeah, there are still chances for Quad 1 and Quad 2 wins in the future but last night and frankly last Monday were wasted opportunities for this team to get back in the NCAA Tournament discussion.

Some would argue yesterday’s game had massive implications on SU’s postseason hopes. The Orange did what they needed to do to put themselves in a position to win. By the end of the game, Syracuse gift wrapped the victory to the Tar Heels, and the Canes for that matter.

So look, I don’t get what the big deal of all this is. For those questioning my verbiage or phrasing, what is not factual or fair about what I asked? Has this team lost back-to-back games by four points against strong ACC squads? Yes. Has this team had a lead in the second half in said games? Yes.

If you want to say the question wasn’t valid because of how the game played out, I was there obviously and I saw the same game you all did. Want to blame the officials? Okay go ahead and do that. It’s my job to ask this question because a lot was riding on this contest tonight and the stakes were big.

So why haven’t Coach Boeheim and company emerged on the winning side? Still don’t have the answer to that question.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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