Syracuse Sabermetrics: Not Really About Stats but About Coaching Outbursts and if They Work

Grant Halverson

I've been stewing on this topic all week. I don't want to be another #HotSportsTake but at the same time, Jim Boeheim's freak out is still being talked about and even has it's own shirt. So here's the last thing I hope we all read about it.

I know what you all are thinking: why is this dumb 21 year old dragging this to the front page of TNIAAM again? I mean, we've already seen the #HotSportsTakes, heard his radio tour statements, spammed our friends with the memes and what the hell, probably watched the video of it set to Pony about 100 times... Wait, I'm the only one on that last one? Awkward...

Anyways I get it. We're done of hearing about whether it was right or wrong, already made our own opinions on the matter and are ready to look forward to perhaps the hidden game of the year down in Virginia. However, I just want to make sure that what I think is a pretty blatantly ignored comparison is brought to the judge and submitted to evidence.

I mean Boeheim didn't throw a chair but throwing his jacket may have been a nice cherry on top.

(Warning, NSFW language here)

Yeah, Bobby Knight was kind of intense. I could continue with this but as I have already stated, you're already pretty annoyed I'm bringing this topic back up again so I'll stop here. Bobby Knight, the guy who was at the top of the coaching wins leaderboard until two ACC Coaches usurped him, made a career off this kind of stuff. And no one batted an eye. It was part of what made Bobby Knight the face of Indiana basketball.

So let's fast forward to Boeheim. Anyone who knows basketball knows that coaching explosions and ejections are part of the game's lore. Boeheim added to this at Duke and was vilified for it. Maybe it was because it was at the end of the game or maybe it was because he's an old curmudgeon who not many national pundits liked too much to begin with. Maybe it's even the juxtaposition to Coach K that was the basis of Grantland's #HotSportsTake.

In reality, it's because Jim Boeheim, unlike Bobby Knight, is an outsider in the ACC. We as Syracuse have invaded the holy Tobacco Road and forced our dominance upon the conference. Our freshman is better than Duke's freshman. We humiliated UNC and refuse to rebuild while they do. We are disrupting the holy Dicky V rivalry by simply being more exciting and being the hottest ticket in the country. If Syracuse wins this Saturday (a big if based on Jerami Grant's health and the team's refusal to put any team away) they *should* win the regular season conference crown, just another thorn in the Carolina blue-bloods that have enjoyed an unchallenged reign in the ACC.

That's why Jim Boeheim is the villain. He's the conquistador and we are all his brainwashed foot soldiers. As Sean wrote earlier today, that makes it "us versus the world." For a team that has seemingly lost it's mental edge, maybe this is exactly what's needed. It's what Bobby Knight did so effectively. And there's no stat that can effectively measure that kind of impact.

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