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Jim Boeheim's State Of The Syracuse City-State Address

Mar 21, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim during practice the day before the semifinals of the east region of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament at TD Garden.  Mandatory Credit: Michael Ivins-US PRESSWIRE
Mar 21, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim during practice the day before the semifinals of the east region of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Michael Ivins-US PRESSWIRE

Jim Boeheim has had a busy six months. It's time to decompress, and thankfully SU Athletics put a camera and a guy with a microphone in from of James Arthur as he did so, recapping the Syracuse Orange basketball season and talking about it's future.

On playing San Diego St. on the USS Midway during Veterans Day Weekend to kick off the 2012-2013 season.

I think it's a huge deal. I don't like road games, particularly 3,000 miles away, but I think this is the exception to the rule. You go to play this game. If you can honor the veterans of this country by playing a game, and a good game, a competitive game with a good team, an NCAA team...and will be one again, so to play that kind of game is great to honor the veterans of this country. I don't think there's anything that we would rather do.

On how the team looks heading into next season with four big losses (Scoop, Kris, Dion & Fab).

You know, every year we're always planning ahead realizing we're gonna lose guys. Obviously we lose the two seniors, but we had a good idea that we would lose both Fab and Dion, so that's not a surprise to us. We recruited to replace those guys. We think we're in a good position. We think we've got really good players coming back. We think we have veteran leadership. And we think we have young players. So, I think we're in good position for next year. Tremendous losses but we think we're in a good position.

On returning for a 37th season and how many more might be after that.

(Laughs) I hadn't even thought about it. So if you haven't thought about it, you must be coming back. I haven't really thought about not coming back at any point in time and, really, it's not something in my thought process at all...if I'm not thinking about it, I guess it's not gonna happen.

On the toll that everything that happened during the 2011-2012 season took on him.

I think this was a great year. Winning and losing, losing is what takes a toll on you. You lose a lot of games, it takes a tremendous toll. You know, when you're in the NIT, for a program like ours, it's a long, crushing, tough, hard year. When you win 20-straight games to start the season and then go on another streak right after that, that's probably the best year I've had in coaching.

Off-the-court things, they happen all the time. That's part of coaching. You just move on.

On the APR.

The intent is absolutely right, it has been worked out a little bit but not enough. When a kid transfers, which he's helping himself, going some place he wants to go...hundreds-of-thousands of students transfer every day (Ed. Note - give or take...), but when the program gets punished in the APR for a guy transferring, which in reality is the same as if a sophomore or junior decides to leave and just doesn't do anymore classwork, he's not hurting himself, he's getting himself ready for the NBA, but he's hurting the institution that he leaves.

It's a dilemma. It's a difficult dilemma. You want to have academics in place. We want guys to graduate. We're gonna graduate our players. We graduate 80% of our players, counting people who have come back. And that's a pretty good number over thirty-six years.

But the APR has it's issues, has it's problems and when a guy decides to leave and you have no control as a coach over what he's doing, he wants to get to workout, he wants those six weeks of workouts instead of finishing school, well, he leaves ineligible and you lose two points. It's something the institution is being held responsible for, and the institution and the coach has absolutely no control because that young man is trying to do what he thinks is best for his pro future.

Other sports don't have that problem. They don't have guys leaving early to play in professional atmosphere. It's always been something in basketball that's been unique. It's gonna be an ongoing problem.

We try to get guys to stay ahead, make sure they can leave eligible. Wesley Johnson did it but other guys have not been able to do that and it's something that we need to fight every day, each and every day. We want every kid to graduate, but if a kid goes to the NBA and makes a lot of money doing what he wants to do, then I think you have to respect that wish. It's just unfortunate that it comes back to cause problems for the school and the players that are left.

On the importance of the Olympics.

We enjoy coaching in the Olympics and the Olympics help me become a better coach. It's been a great experience and its helped our program tremendously.