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.
BY MATT SUGAM & ADAM ZAGORIANEW YORK – Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim and Louisville coach Rick Pitino both think the other is “full of s**t.”
Their spirited exchange was the highlight of Big East Media Day at the New York Athletic Club.
The two Hall of Famers got into a friendly war of words stemming over the question of whether Memphis and Temple can adequately replace Syracuse when the Orange jump to the ACC in 2013.
Pitino, who lobbied for Memphis and Temple, says yes.
Boeheim, who clearly has mixed feelings over the Orange leaving the only league they’ve ever been a part of it, says no.
“Rick’s full of s***t if that’s what he really said,” Boeheim said to a handful of reporters at Big East media day. “If he was in the Big 12 right now like he wanted to be, he’d being saying the Big 12 is the best. That’s the bottom line.”
Boeheim said Louisville has long been interested in leaving for the Big 12 and that Pitino wants out of the crumbling conference.
“The only thing I’ll say about what Rick said all summer is that if Louisville could have left they would have left,” Boeheim said. “Everybody knows it and I’m really tired of him saying what Syracuse should be or should have done because they would have left in a heartbeat. Everybody knows it.
“I don’t mind him denying that fact, but when they start talking about Syracuse, I’m going to start talking about them.”
And he’s not going to buy into the fact that Temple and Memphis are better than his program.
“If you think those schools are better than Syracuse then you don’t know what you’re talking about and I think Rick’s smarter than that,” Boeheim said. “At least I thought he was.”
In an exclusive interview with SNY.tv, Pitino, whose team was a unanimous pick for No. 1 in the Preseason poll ahead of No. 2 Syracuse, had his say.
“I think he’s full of s**t, and so we’re both full of it,” Pitino told SNY.tv with a broad smile. “I think without question Temple and Memphis…Look, we’re going to miss Syracuse because they bring more than just a team. They bring the fans and Memphis and Temple can’t do that.
“But anybody who looks at where Memphis has been in the last 10-12 years, anybody who looks at the tradition of Temple and knows Franny Dunphy, would know I’m not full of s**t.
“If Temple played Syracuse 10 times right now, one’s gonna win six and the other’s gonna four. Syracuse and Pitt are two great teams.”
He added: “I think [Boeheim] is full of s**t. I’ve worked with Jim, I don’t always agree with him.”
Photo credit: New York Post
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
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.