Everyone and their mother, assuming she is not a Hoya, is writing about Jim Boeheim and his impending trip to the hallowed grounds of 900 wins. Let's check in with what everyone's talking about when it comes to James Arthur and the Syracuse Orange.
"I never looked at coach as a new head coach,’’ Orr said. "He never presented himself that way. He was always self-assured about what he wanted to do. He was demanding and confident.’’
"I am happy I am still here," Boeheim said Saturday night, after the SU basketball team he has coached since 1976 won its 899th game under his care. "When I was 17 years old I almost went home in the first year. I am still here."
"Absolutely not," Roy Danforth confessed the other day when he was asked if he had any possible clue, any hint of a premonition, about what he’d done when he hired Boeheim as his aide back in 1972. "I was looking for an assistant coach and Jimmy played at Syracuse and he was a local boy. I did interview a couple of other guys, but I wasn’t really impressed with them. So I grabbed Boeheim."
"In spring of 2002, Jim and I were in a car, coming back from one of our golf days during the Big East meetings in Ponte Vedre, Florida. We were talking about golf courses and he said, ‘I’ve never played Augusta.’ I told him I had a friend who was a Syracuse grad who was a member there. I said I’m sure he’d love to invite you. He said ‘Get him on the phone now.’ We called him on the phone. I said ‘Jim wants to talk to you and invite himself to Augusta.'
"I remember the night that he won the national championship. You would think there would be this big extravaganza. There wasn’t. It was Jim and Juli and Tim Welsh and my wife and I. A few other people. We just went out to dinner. It was like any other night. I know how important it was for Jim to win, but he didn’t change a bit. That’s who Jim Boeheim is. There’s nothing fancy about him. There’s no frills. That’s how I’ve always known him and that’s what I remember.’’
"We usually had Monday as our off day from practice. But that meant that Jim usually didn’t leave much during the season to watch recruits play because most high schools play on Tuesdays and on the weekend. He had never been to see Carmelo and I really wanted him to see Carmelo. This was early in Carmelo’s junior year. I kept saying, ‘Coach you’ve got to come with me to see this kid.’
"He said, ‘Allen, you’re going to be fine. You’re going to have your day. Continue to work.’ We never spoke about it again. From the day I signed with Syracuse, I put my faith in Coach. I didn’t play much that year, but it was the best year of my life. I had to deal with adversity that year. I was able to grow up and see the other side of life. It was great for me.’"
James Southerland: "It's going to be great, especially being here for 800. We're going to go in there just worried about the game. We're not even thinking about 900, we're just going in making sure we do what we need to do to beat Detroit.
"It means a lot," said Coleman, the center who graduated high school last spring less than nine miles from the Carrier Dome. "For somebody to accomplish something like that, I’d love to be a part of it. Hopefully we get the next win."
"People always talk about guys as they get older," said Steve Lappas, a college basketball analyst for CBS Sports Network. "Well, here’s a guy who’s just getting better."
Before coaching Syracuse to 899 wins, Jim Boeheim played for the Orangemen from 1962-66. He was a team captain his senior year and played alongside former roommate and Hall of Famer Dave Bing.
I don’t think any coach who’s currently 50 years old or older is in position to catch the trio of Boeheim, Bob Knight and Mike Krzyzewski. Bob Huggins is currently third on the active list behind Krzyzewski and Boeheim with 714 wins. That’s a lot of wins and a lot of years. He’s 59 years old.
There is no doubt that winning 900 games is a remarkable achievement, especially considering Boeheim has won all of his games at one school. But as Boeheim prepares to enter one of college basketball's most exclusive fraternities, it raises the question of where he stands in the pantheon of all-time great coaches.
By now, you know what's at stake: Jim Boeheim goes for career win no. 900 on Monday night against Detroit. CitrusTV's Mark Sell and Evan Weston look ahead to the matchup inside the Carrier Dome.
ML talks about win #900 and what Jim Boeheim means to him.