Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Syracuse Recruit: Boeheim Will Coach in 2014; Former Indiana Recruit Says Hoosiers ‘Screwed’ Him
Syracuse recruit Chris McCullough won’t get to campus until 2014 and when he does, he says Jim Boeheim will be there to coach him.
The 6-foot-9 McCullough said he spoke with Boeheim “two or three weeks ago,” and the coach gave him the news.
“He said there’s a lot of rumors going around that he’s retiring but he’ll still be there when I’m there,” McCullough told SNY.tv from Brewster (N.H.) Academy, where he has one more season remaining.
Syracuse will face Indiana in the East Regional semifinals Thursday night in Washington, D.C., and Boeheim told reporters Wednesday he will definitely coach during the 2013-14 season when the Orange move to the ACC.
“I’m coachin’ next year,” Boeheim said. “I kid around a little bit and everybody gets crazy when I do so I’m not going to kid around about it anymore, I’m coaching next year, thrilled, got a great challenge, looking forward to it. About September if I don’t want to coach, I won’t coach.”
Speaking with a small group of reporters at the Big East Tournament two weeks ago, Boeheim said he was excited to coach his incoming five-man recruiting class, as well as the 2014 class, which for now consists of just McCullough.
“I’m excited about the future,” Boeheim said. “We’ve got one of our better recruiting classes coming. We’ve got commitments from underclassmen that I think are very, very good players.”
One of the players coming in next year is Brewster shooting guard Ron Patterson, who said he’s rooting hard for Syracuse Thursday night because he initially committed to Indiana and felt they did not treat him fairly during the recruiting process.
“I want Syracuse to beat them real bad,” Patterson told SNY.tv. “[Indiana] was my old team and I really don’t like them so much. Not the players, just Indiana, period.”
A former Broad Ripple Creek (IN) High School star, Patterson reportedly failed to meet academic requirements in summer school and was then denied admission to Indiana. He then opted to spend the year at Brewster instead of transferring. He ultimately committed to Syracuse in November.
Asked why he felt the way he does about Indiana, Patterson said, “Just the way they did me. Like I was screwed over. They said it was academics, but I don’t think it was. I think there was more to it.”
Patterson said and McCullough will watch the game in the dorm room, and root hard for the Syracuse zone to foil Indiana’s shooters, Christian Watford and Jordan Hulls, as well as Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo.
“I think Syracuse wins just by the zone,” Patterson said. “If Indiana isn’t hitting shots it’s not be going to be game. If they hit shots it’s gonna be a long day.”
As for McCullough, after flirting with reclassifying to 2013, he’s looking forward to playing for Boeheim in the ACC in 2014.
“I wanted to play ACC or Big East anyway so I like the ACC better so that shoudl be fun,” McCullough said. “It’s competitive.”
BOEHEIM DIDN’T GET OVER ’87 UNTIL ’03
This game is a rematch of the 1987 NCAA championship game won by the Hoosiers on Keith Smart’s last-second shot.
Boeheim said he didn’t get over that shot until 2003, when the Carmelo Anthony-led Orange won Syracuse’s first, and only, NCAA title.
“We played very well in the game,” Boeheim said of the ’87 final. “When you lose a game like that, you really almost never get over it. I got over it in 2003. That’s when I really — I probably thought about it for those 26 years [16 until Syracuse won the title] most of the time. I never think about it anymore. Coach [Bob] Knight was good after the game. He told me we would get back and win it, he just didn’t tell me it would take 26 years. He’s smart, just not that smart.”
Boeheim added that his goal every single year is to contend for an NCAA title.
“There is nothing like winning the national championship,” he said. “You can talk about it all you like and say you don’t need it or you don’t have to have it, but it’s the — it’s the biggest thing that can happen to a college coach, and if you’re in this game for — whether it’s a short period of time or long period of time, it’s the single, biggest thing that can happen to you or for you and for your program and for all the players and the fans of a program. There is nothing like this.”
INDIANA INVOLVED WITH SINA
Gill St. Bernard’s point guard Jaren Sina has been contacted “multiple times” by Indiana, a source close to his recruitment told SNY.tv.
Georgia and Purdue have also reached out, but as we reported this week, Sina is focusing on Alabama, Northwestern and Seton Hall.
With Chris Collins set to be hired at Northwestern, Sina said he plans to sit down with his parents and make an informed decision.
Follow Adam Zagoria on TwitterAnd like ZAGS on Facebook
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.