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’s Jim Boeheim plans to coach at least five more years
MONTCLAIR, N.J. — With his son Buddy Boeheim set to become a freshman at Syracuse during the 2018-19 season, Jim Boeheim plans to coach for at least another five years.
“I’m not leaving my son there,” Boeheim, who turns 73 in November, said with a smile at the Garden State Basketball Clinic at Montclair (N.J.) Immaculate Conception High School.
When I mentioned that that meant Boeheim would be on the job for at least five more years, Boeheim smiled and said, “He might redshirt, too.”
If Buddy Boeheim ends his career in four years, his career would end during the 2021-22 season. If he redshirts, it would be pushed to the 2022-23 season, when Jim Boeheim will turn 78.
Boeheim had initially agreed to step down after this upcoming season, but when his longtime lieutenant Mike Hopkins took the University of Washington job in March, Syracuse announced an extension for Boeheim for an undetermined length of time.
Syracuse said it “moved promptly to maintain stability in its program by negotiating the new deal with Boeheim, who had planned to step down following the conclusion of the next season.”
Boeheim’s official record is 903-354 (.718). He has taken the Orange to five Final Fours, including in 2013 and ’16, and the 2003 NCAA championship with Carmelo Anthony.
As for this upcoming season, Syracuse suffered a major blow when sophomore big man Taurean Thompson withdrew from school in late August and later announced his transfer to Seton Hall. That left Syracuse with only junior Paschal Chukwu and freshman forward Bourama Sidibe up front.
“We have a 7-2 guy who’s a junior now, Paschal,” Boeheim said. “He knows what to do, he knows our system. He’s a very good defensive player. And we’ve got a freshman, Bourama Sidibe, who’s a very good defensive player. They’re weakness is offense, but we don’t need them on offense. We have very experienced guards, [USF graduate transfer Geno] Thorpe. We’ve got Tyus Battle, Frank Howard and other good freshman guards [Howard Washington], so our guards are good.
“Our forwards are very young, but they’re talented, Oshae Brissett, Matt Moyer and Marek Dolezaj from Slovakia. He’s an experienced, international player. So they’re young, but they’re talented.”
Chukwu suffered a torn retina in his right eye and had eye surgery Dec. 17, causing him to miss the remainder of the season. The 6-8 Moyer redshirted last season but his highly regarded.
Big things are expected from the 6-6 Battle, who averaged 11.3 points as a freshman.
“Well you know he averaged 18 points a game the last 10 games, so that’s all he has to do,” Boeheim said. “Just do what he did last year and that was in the league. So I think he’s capable of more than that. He’s a very talented player. I really think we’re a little bit better than people think we’re going to be.”
Given the size of his team, Boeheim said they may play a little small ball.
“We could play three guards, we probably will at times,” he said. “The key for us is our point guard play, which I think will be better and our centers defensively. If they play good, we’ll surprise some people. If they struggle, we’ll struggle.”
On the recruiting front, Syracuse is primarily working on two more players along with Buddy Boeheim in the Class of 2018, 6-4 Immaculate Conception point guard Jalen Carey,who is expected to announce on his birthday, Oct. 11, between Syracuse, UConn and Miami, and 6-8 Brewster (N.H.) Academy forward Nate Roberts,who will announce Oct. 17 between UConn, Nebraska, Syracuse, Wake Forest, and Washington.
Phot0: USA Today Sports
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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.