In 1859, Charles Darwin came up with the theory of natural selection. It’s a rather simple idea. Certain species are born with characteristics that allow them to survive longer than others, and their offspring would continue to evolve to be better suited to the environment. Those who don’t evolve, well, don’t last.
There has not been change throughout the Syracuse basketball program in a long time. At least, not change that came from within. Jim Boeheim has lasted for a long time. Now, the ever-changing world has caught up and passed a program that said “screw you” to the haters, doubters and NCAA for the past 47 years. There has been no evolution. Not in offense, not in defense, not in recruiting and not in philosophy.
The latest example? The 96-76 loss to Georgia Tech on Tuesday.
Not only did Syracuse lose, it lost terribly. Georgia Tech has been better as of late, but not 96 points good. Not a program record 18 threes good. Not three players with 20+ with a six-man rotation good. The Yellow Jackets had a 10-4 lead three minutes in, and after a little push led by Judah Mintz, GT’s advantage ballooned to nine, then eleven. SU couldn’t stop them. 2-3, 1-3-1, press, nothing worked.
Jim Boeheim had no answers for the awful defensive performance in-game, or post-game. In fact, the only answer Boeheim did have was to change the defense. To evolve.
SU got three straight stops after ditching the zone in favor of man-to-man. It actually riled up the crowd. But at that point, the Orange were down 20, and changing the scheme was about as helpful as putting scotch tape on the Titanic.
The game itself was a foregone conclusion after halftime. Syracuse is headed straight for a Tuesday night ACC tournament game against some other conference bottom-feeder (If BC wins on Saturday and SU loses, the Orange are the 10 seed…Remember, Louisville is a “good team” in the words of Boeheim). There’s no telling what happens next week. But it won’t change how anyone feels about this team. It is young, and it has flashed once in a blue moon, but besides Judah Mintz, who might be best served declaring for the draft or hitting the portal to play for a serious contender, nobody has improved.
Speaking of the future, in the process of getting smacked by the second-worst team in the ACC, the ‘Cuse also lost a prized prospect’s attention. Marcus Adams, Jr. has seen enough. Instead of visiting the Hill this weekend, Adams Jr. is going to visit UCLA. How do you expect to survive in the future when the present team is dead? Natural selection…
While other schools once thought to be inferior of those on the Hill have grown with innovative coaching, film study, elite nutrition, high-level recruiting (and NIL), SU is left to rot next to the carcasses of college basketball programs past (Here’s looking at you, Ewing). We leave you with this: