Coach Jim Boeheim stopped by Andy Katz's radio program yesterday to discuss a bevy of topics involving the Syracuse Orange. You can listen to the entire interview here but we've got some highlights below.
On whether or not he was surprised Jerami Grant decided to go pro.
It was a surprise a little bit. I think he needs to be a little stronger. But that said, he's gonna...play in the NBA for a long time. It may take him a little while to break in. He's got to get a little bit stronger, continue to work on his shooting, but I think Jeramit Grant's gonna play in the NBA for a long time. I would have rather seen him play one more year in college selfishly, and I think it would have helped him, but I believe he'll play in the NBA and someday be a great NBA player.
On who's going to step up now that Ennis, Grant, Fair and Keita are gone.
Rakeem Christmas is going to step up. I think he's going to be the most improved player in the league this year. He's ready to step into that role. Mike Gbinije and Tyler Roberson are two other guys that didn't do a lot last year but are very capable of stepping in and having big years. We're not going to replace those guys without a tremendous team effort. The freshman will have to contribute but those three and a couple others, Trevor Cooney obviously, are going to have to step it up. Every year you lose guys. The year before we lost Michael Carter-Williams and Brandon Triche and James Southerland, and everybody pulled together and bounced back. That's the nature of college basketball now. You're going to lose guys. We have guys ready that have been in the program that have worked hard and I believe are ready for that expanded role."
On what he'd like to see in terms of age limits/restrictions from the NBA:
I don't think we're gonna get a perfect situation, I really don't. The baseball rule is better, come out of high school or stay three years, but that's not gonna happen. I think two years is better. I think the guys I've had for two years, Jerami Grant, Michael Carter-Williams, they've benefitted from it. They've gotten more than half way to their degree and they learned a lot. I think you can learn twice as much in two years as you can in one year...overall, for the good of college basketball, I think if kids stay in college for two years, you get more of a feeling that, you know, I've been to college.
On the differences between Big East play and ACC play:
"I don't see a bit of difference. We already have rivalries created in the first year. I'm sure there will be many more in the years to come. It's a great league. We're in a great league and I couldn't be happier. We have the best league we could possibly be in the way things in college basketball were heading and the way things have transpired the last few years. We're in the best place we can be."
On DaJuan Coleman's prognosis to return from injury:
"He was on a great track last year prior to the injury. We're very hopeful he'll be able to play this year and be a factor this year. We won't know that, really probably, until September at the earliest."
On Coach Hopkins, who is moving full-steam ahead with looking for his own head coaching gig:
"I think he obviously wants to run his own program like Duke's Steve (Wojciechowski) did, like Chris Collins did. You need to take that opportunity when it's there if it's a good one. I think a couple that he looked at were very good ones. I think Syracuse is better. I've encouraged him to look for something that he thinks is really good but if not, he's going to be the coach here. I think this is a great job and I think he's really the right guy for the job, that's why I wanted to push for him to be in that position. I think he understands the program and what needs to be done here. I'm sure some day that can all work out. As a coach you have to look and keep your options open and see what's out there. I think Mike Hopkins is a tremendous basketball coach and will be a tremendous basketball coach and I'd love to see him take over here when I'm done."