Tres Boeheims: the 2021 Syracuse Basketball Thread

The Filthy One

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It's the eve of another Syracuse season. Buddy Boeheim is back, as is Joe Girard III, Jesse Edwards, and assorted other pieces from last year's surprising Sweet 16 team. Gone are...basically everyone else who contributed, sucked into the transfer portal and destined for parts unknown and also Seton Hall. But the transfer portal giveth as well as taketh away, and in addition to much-hyped freshman Benny Williams, the Cuse added transfers of its own -- Jimmy Boeheim (who brings his old man game to the Dome), Cole Swider (from Villanova), and Symir Torrence (from Marquette).

I'm not sure what to make of this team. They seem woefully unathletic, but at the same time, they might bury a few teams with lights out shooting. KenPom has them as the 18th best offensive team in basketball and the 83rd best team on defense. That's the inverse of how they've typically succeeded the past few seasons. It would seem to all add up to another season on the bubble, but we'll see.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Their zone defense helps mitigate some of their lack of athleticism. Their shooting will be something we've never really seen before in a Boeheim-led team. I think where they'll struggle is with an athletic man-to-man, in your face kind of defense. We don't have people who can create their own shot. Coach Boeheim may actually have to create offensive sets that work instead of relying on P&R (which, obviously, is an offensive set but they'll need more) and guys creating their own shot. I'd like to see them run the offense through Jimmy B, who can score and pass out of the post. Swider will be solid and Buddy is All-American caliber.

I think SU will be sneaky good this year. I'm still salty over the choice to start Girard at the expense of letting Kadary go, but what's done is done.
 

The Filthy One

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I think SU will be sneaky good this year. I'm still salty over the choice to start Girard at the expense of letting Kadary go, but what's done is done.
I agree. It's also disappointing to see Boeheim essentially throw Richmond under the bus by saying he didn't play because he wasn't in shape. No idea, of course, if that's true or not, but I'd prefer Boeheim just shut up about players who leave the program.
 

benhogan

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Tons of outside shooting + veterans + Centers that can block shots are usually the recipe for a good Cuse team.

The 2-3 will be disciplined with mostly upperclassman, so that will hide most of their defensive flaws. Edwards/Anselem can hold down the middle, with Jimmy being the small-ball 5

Buddy is an All-American candidate, but Jimmy is really not talked about enough.
Jimmy was top 10 in the Ivy League 2 seasons ago in PPG, Rebs, FG%, FT%, PER. He can really play.
Swider shot 40% from 3 last season for Nova.
That's three solid 4yr players

If 3rd-year player, Joe Girard, can have a nice bounceback season this team is flying way under the radar.

We'll know pretty quickly how competitive this team is, they are playing in Battle for Atlantis event, Indiana, GTown, Nova #4, Fla State #20 over the next month.

Cuse gets Fla State, Duke, BC, Miami 2X this season
 
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BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Yeah, they won't shoot too often like they did last night (JG was 5-5 from three, Jimmy B was 8-9 from the floor), but they have offensive talent. Jimmy is a legitimately good college basketball player. Swider can really play too. Very nice additions. And I agree - if Girard actually has a good season, they could be a handful.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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First loss in a million years to Colgate.

Football got blown out by NC State. Basketball got hammered by Colgate.

Awesome sports weekend for SU.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

RIP Dernell
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It’s sad, SU sports feels largely irrelevant these days.
Isn't this the likely forever future of Syracuse sports?

Football has hardly ever really been relevant (I know they won a national championship over 60 years ago, but the NCAA landscape has completely changed since then).

Basketball is relevant only because of a really unique situation where Boeheim is a local kid who played at Syracuse, stayed on as a coach, became a (multi-?) generational coaching talent and never left. Unfortunately Boeheim is past his prime, and you're unlikely to ever have his talent or situation.

Syracuse just really isn't all that great an attraction. It's an okay campus, in a shit city, in the middle of nowhere with bad weather in a region of the country (Northeast) where professional sports rule over college sports. This makes it neither an attraction for an established top tier coach or the top prospects. It might be a great stop for an up and coming coaching talent to prove themselves before moving on to a more attractive program. UConn is struggling with a similar fate at the moment.

It's similar to the path of Indiana after Bob Knight. Similarly, Knight was past his prime by the end of his tenure(in addition to his other baggage), but still more effective than anyone brought in afterwards.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Yeah, it likely is. The football team was pretty compelling during the McNabb years but not much since. Since Pasqualoni was canned (after a 6 win season, which would be a big success now), they’ve gone 73-121 (.376). Obviously, the inevitable demise of the Big East is a big factor in the current irrelevance of teams like Syracuse, BC, Rutgers, etc.
 
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BaseballJones

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Syracuse has one of the most amazing basketball facilities in the country. Playing in front of 30,000 people is not nothing. They routinely win ~20 games playing in a major conference and every few years make a deep run in the NCAA tournament.

All they need is a good replacement for Boeheim and the basketball program should be fine. And from what I hear, recruits love GMac so maybe he’d be perfect.

The football program is another thing altogether. I thought Dino Babers was the guy to take them to the next level and the program was really trending up after their 10-3 record a few years ago. But then bam, back to reality. There’s still the draw of the ACC, and a fast track to play on in the Dome. But making football relevant seems a much harder task than it is for basketball.

Plus for basketball, all you need is one stud, because one player impacts hoops far more than football.

The weather does suck. The city is meh. The campus is gorgeous and the athletic facilities are top rate. And they own NY and play in a great conference. There are real pluses to signing with Syracuse.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Also re football’s relevance....

From 1987-2001 they were absolutely relevant.

https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/schools/syracuse/index.html

12 bowl games, including four major (Jan1) bowls

Here are some teams they beat in bowl games during that run:

LSU
Georgia
Arizona
Ohio St
Colorado
Clemson

They finished in the top 25 nine times during that stretch, including two top 10 finishes and five top 15 finishes.

I’d say that’s a pretty long stretch of being relevant.

It’s been a while since then though. :-(
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Yeah twenty years, post Pasqualoni they’ve had a couple of good seasons, but mostly been awful. But the whole landscape of college football has changed in that time and the concentration of best players seems to be on a handful of teams. I personally have found CFB to become extremely boring, but if the Cuse was better I’d probably change my mind.

Cuse hoops is relevant but less so than it was; averaging 19 wins the last five years after 26 the ten years before that, so it’s certainly a downward trajectory. I think Boeheim is only leaving the dome in a bodybag.

I question how big a draw the Dome is to players these days, though.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

RIP Dernell
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Syracuse has one of the most amazing basketball facilities in the country. Playing in front of 30,000 people is not nothing. They routinely win ~20 games playing in a major conference and every few years make a deep run in the NCAA tournament.

All they need is a good replacement for Boeheim and the basketball program should be fine. And from what I hear, recruits love GMac so maybe he’d be perfect.

Plus for basketball, all you need is one stud, because one player impacts hoops far more than football.

The weather does suck. The city is meh. The campus is gorgeous and the athletic facilities are top rate. And they own NY and play in a great conference. There are real pluses to signing with Syracuse.
Again some of my argument is that all the past success you're saying makes them a draw is due to a coaching talent you're unlikely to be able to attract again due to unique circumstances. McNamara may turn into the next Boeheim and have a similar run and similar ties that keep him at Syracuse. That's best case scenario and likely 1/100 chance.

All the schools they're competing with for recruits have world class facilities these days. I maintain my Indiana comparison. Cook Hall is a year new, 20% larger and just as state of the art or more than the Melo Center. So now you're talking Indiana state basketball vs NY Upstate Basketball as far as owning the region.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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There’s no question that SU sports is down. I mean even Lax - a sport that Syracuse absolutely dominated for more than 20 straight seasons - is down.

I am objecting to the claim that football hasn’t been relevant since the early 60s, and to the idea that the school’s athletics can’t be relevant again barring some sort of miracle.
 

Humphrey

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Yeah, it likely is. The football team was pretty compelling during the McNabb years but not much since. Since Pasqualoni was canned (after a 6 win season, which would be a big success now), they’ve gone 73-121 (.376). Obviously, the inevitable demise of the Big East is a big factor in the current irrelevance of teams like Syracuse, BC, Rutgers, etc.
Pitt seems to be making the best of the ACC switch. And they don't even have their own stadium unlike the other 3. The right coaching hire makes all the difference.
 

Humphrey

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Yeah twenty years, post Pasqualoni they’ve had a couple of good seasons, but mostly been awful. But the whole landscape of college football has changed in that time and the concentration of best players seems to be on a handful of teams. I personally have found CFB to become extremely boring, but if the Cuse was better I’d probably change my mind.

Cuse hoops is relevant but less so than it was; averaging 19 wins the last five years after 26 the ten years before that, so it’s certainly a downward trajectory. I think Boeheim is only leaving the dome in a bodybag.

I question how big a draw the Dome is to players these days, though.
If Boeheim doesn't "graduate" with his sons, the bodybag is definitely in order. It's just time. I didn't watch the game, but when the other team makes 18 threes, perhaps the 2-3 zone would have been good to switch out of a little bit? By the way, that win broke a 54 game losing streak against the Orange. We're talking about the 1956-57 season, the year after Jim Brown played hoop for SU.
 
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Petagine in a Bottle

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I agree with that, with the caveat that given the changes in the sport, I’m not sure they can ever have the kind of football program they had even twenty years ago. A good year here and there, sure. Pitt is having a good year this year, but can they sustain it? Generally, they’ve been a 5-7 loss team the past decade too.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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If Boeheim doesn't "graduate" with his sons, the bodybag is definitely in order. It's just time. I didn't watch the game, but when the other team makes 18 threes, perhaps the 2-3 zone would have been good to switch out of a little bit?
All his comments on the issue over the past decade, or longer, suggest he’s not going to hang it up willingly.
 

Bleedred

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A guy I work with, ironically, played at Colgate (averaged 12 and 6 his senior year about 20 years ago) and I asked him about why the hell players would ever go to SU. His responses were interesting. Paraphrasing: "Boeheim is well past his prime but he had a great NYC pipeline. He brought kids in from 4 hours away, in many instances allowing them to escape the neighborhood without having to leave the state. He was also recruiting in the hey day of the of the Big East and playing in front of 35,000 a night is a very big deal. SU is a pro team in that town and other than the McNabb years, they were never a football school. Also, the success he had with Carmelo lengthened Boeheim's tenure dramatically."
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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And just for fun, Colgate - who beat SU by 15 while scoring 100 points - lost to Harvard yesterday. LOL
 

The Filthy One

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Swider was supposed to be this lights-out shooter. He's opened the season 3-22 from 3 (13.6%). He killed them yesterday. With all the attention paid to Buddy, he should get a lot of open looks. He got them yesterday...0-7.
 

Bleedred

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They're incapable of breaking a press (at least so far) and turning it into easy points. They break every cardinal rule of a press break. They are slow, methodical, the ball finds its way into the corner too often, they don't attack the defense. It's embarassing to watch, but may it's too early in the season?
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Their lack of athleticism is glaring right now. You can win games with this team, but it won't be long before everyone figures out that they can give SU fits by playing tight on ball pressure, starting further up the court than normal. Girard just isn't a dynamic ball handler or play maker. He's fine as a mid-major shooting guard (he's much more of a shooting guard than point guard) due to his size, but he's not at all a big-time D1 point guard. But that's the role he's having to play and he's not cut out for it at all.

Here's what kills me. You watch in the NBA when teams try to press, NBA teams have NO problem at all either getting the ball in bounds or breaking the press. The easiest way they get the ball in bounds is simply have a guy post up and the passer tosses it to the target hand. Easy as pie, like every time. But in college these guys try to run themselves open instead of just posting up and collecting the pass easily. Drives me absolutely crazy.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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How they pulled that one out today, I'll never know. Two AWFUL calls by the refs at the end of regulation, on plays where SU players literally didn't even touch Indiana players, nearly sunk them. Plus missed FTs again at the end of regulation.

Very fortunate to come away with the W tonight. But a W it is nonetheless.