Boeheim Talks ACC, Depth, Player Progress on ESPN Podcast

C.J. Fair came up more than once duing Boeheim's interview with ESPN. - Thearon W. Henderson

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim recently appeared on ESPNU’s college basketball podcast to talk about the upcoming season, SU’s move to the ACC, and a few other topics.

The podcast, hosted by ESPN reporter Andy Katz and former coach Seth Greenberg, usually updates twice a week in-season and is known for its interviews with big name college coaches. You may remember there was a bit of a dustup between Boeheim and Katz after the UConn game last season, but they have worked out their differences and Boeheim spoke with Katz and Greenberg for about 17.5 minutes on Monday.

Some highlights of Boeheim’s portion of the podcast:

On attending his first ACC media day this week:

“It’s something like going to the dentist. You’ve got to do it, you know, it’s something you have to do. I guess there’s a good purpose, but it’s quite painful when you’re going through it.”

On SU's first ACC season:

“It’s a great, great league. Our season tickets are higher than they’ve ever been – or at least in years, in terms of people wanting to come to games. We’ve got Duke in here, we’ve got Carolina in here, we’ve still got a couple of the old standbys, Indiana with the Big Ten, Villanova coming in… we’ve positioned ourselves in, I think, a great, great basketball league.”

On C.J. Fair:

“He’s gotten a little better every year. He’s improved his shooting tremendously. He shot 40% from the three last year. A lot of people don’t realize this, Seth, but he was our leading scorer last year. If you can go into the arena and be the leading scorer on a national contender, that’s pretty unusual… I think C.J. and our other senior, Baye Keita, are ready to have great years.”

On Tyler Ennis and freshman point guards:

“He’s very steady. I don’t know if he’s as talented as some point guards we’ve had, although I think you could make that argument. I think he’s steadier, more in control of his game than any point guard, and you’re right – we’ve started Jonny Flynn at the point, we’ve started Pearl (Washington) at the point.”

“I think Tyler Ennis is well prepared to come in and play as a freshman… he understands the game as well as any point guard I’ve had here.”

On Fair staying for his senior season:

“I think he would have been a late first round pick at best. I think this year he can be an All-American. I think he’ll be in the running for Big East (sic) player of the year. I think he can move up significantly in the draft… I think C.J. has put himself in a great position to make the NBA and play in the NBA.”

On Michael Gbinije and Trevor Cooney:

“They’re really having a battle, both guys. We have another freshman, Ronnie Patterson, who’s inserted himself in that mix. Michael Gbinije can play some at the point, and will - can play some at the three, and probably will. But I’m confident in that position. We don’t have the same player that we had last year, Brandon Triche was a senior, four year starter… these guys by committee, I think will be able to have good years.”

“The strength of our team is our frontcourt. We’ve got veterans there, we’ve got size. We could have the best defensive frontcourt that we’ve ever had here, and we’ve had some good ones.”

On versatility and depth:

“We’ve had good depth over the last two, three, four years… I think we have a little better quality depth, some of our forwards – when you can bring Jerami Grant off the bench, Trevor Roberson (sic) off the bench, these guys are capable of being starters at a high level in college basketball. So, our depth is very good. We really think it’s the best depth we’ve had in a long, long time.”

On Dajuan Coleman:

“I think he’s getting better. I think he’s lost some weight again. He came in a little too heavy. He's lost 30 pounds since he came to Syracuse. I think he looks good.”

On Jerami Grant:

“Obviously Jerami Grant we think will be a very special player. He’s gotten better, and continues to improve everyday.”

On the shooting prowess of his assistant coaches:

“We have shooting contests with the staff. It’s pretty close between Gerry McNamara and Adrian (Autry). They’re right there. Hop makes about 10% of what they make. Gerry still makes 90% of 500 threes.”

Boeheim, Katz and Greenberg wrapped up the interview with more discussion of the NCAA, pay for play, and other topics. The Boeheim portion of the podcast starts around the 5:15 mark. You can download it or stream it online here.

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