Jim Boeheim: 'Last Year Was A Difficult Time To Go Through'

Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Jim Boeheim talks about the trials and tribulations of last season and how he still has the same passion for the job today that he did 10, 20 years ago.

I always love it when people get sucked in to Jim Boeheim's bravado in interviews and press conferences because that's all it ever is. When he spends months upon months talking about how last season was fantastic and there were no issues and he doesn't really care and that retirement could be any day now, most Syracuse Orange fans know by now that he's puffing out his chest either for the local media, whom he doesn't want to open up to, or the national media, who just take things at face value anyway.

But everyone once in a while, he lets down his guard. It usually happens right before the next season. All of a sudden, all of those things he said during last season that seemed unlikely are proven as such. He becomes human again. Or at least, a slightly-less curmudgeony one.

Jimmy is currently at Creighton University for a three-day clinic that begins Friday afternoon at D.J. Sokol Arena. Jim is the headliner but he'll be joined by coaches such as Minnesota's Tubby Smith and Kansas State’s Bruce Weber (and, possibly you, if you like). He took some time out of his schedule to do an interview with Steve Pivovar of the World-Herald. I don't know how he did it but he happened to get some of those honest answers out of Boeheim that we've all been waiting for regarding last season.

On Syracuse's move to the ACC...

"I’d like to stay close to the area where we’re located. And that’s one reason we’re going to the ACC. The Big East was getting too spread out, now that there are going to be two schools in Texas. In the ACC, other than our trip to Miami, most of our other trips are within an hour and a half. Plus, there will be six former Big East schools in the ACC."

On whether or not he's still excited about coaching...

"I’m just as excited about that now as I was in my first year or 10th year or 20th year. I still have that desire to go out there and compete, and I’m fortunate that I’m still able to do it...I feel just as strongly about everything that you need to do in this job as I ever have. Those feelings aren’t getting any weaker."

On dealing with the Bernie Fine situation during last season:

Certainly, last year was a difficult time to go through but I felt I owed it to that group to do the best coaching job that I could do. That superseded anything that might be happening on the outside...It was a difficult year with a lot of things going on but we still managed to have the best regular season that we’ve ever had. That says a lot about our players...The good parts definitely re-energized me, and the bad parts beat you down.

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