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Syracuse Basketball: Mike Hopkins Tending the Herd

We know Mike Hopkins is in a difficult position as Interim Head Coach, but I bet you never thought of it in this way before.

While he serves his NCAA suspension, the only time we get to hear from Syracuse Orange Head Coach Jim Boeheim is during his various radio appearances, and he certainly hasn't disappointed in terms of what he's saying. Last night during his show with Matt Park, Boeheim talked about the challenges that Mike Hopkins faces as the Interim Head Coach.

Donna Ditota from Syracuse.Com chronicled the discussion, which featured an interesting analogy from Boeheim.

Jim Boeheim: "He is a tremendous coach, but he's not coaching his team, he's coaching my team. They're used to my words and how I coach. When he has his own team and he has 4-5 weeks to get them prepared, they'll be used to his voice. But in two days, they're not going to get used to him. So it makes it difficult for anyone to take over somebody else's team. I don't think it's easy or in some cases possible to do, particularly when you have tough road games. St. John's, I don't care what their record is, the way they shot, they were good. It ended up being a tough game."

Matt Park: "So you're driving someone else's car. Everyone knows how to drive ..."

Jim Boeheim: "It's a little bit more difficult than that. Let's use an analogy like if you're herding sheep and they're used to your ..."

Matt Park: "How many listeners are herding sheep?"

Jim Boeheim: "Well, they've heard of it. Dogs herd sheep. You take that dog out of there, put another dog in there and even if it's a good dog, those sheep aren't used to that dog. It might be difficult. That's a little bit better analogy, I think. Coaching people, people act differently, respond differently, hear things differently from different people. And when you change that, it's going to change something. "Even with all that, we need to shoot the ball better. It's simple as that."

Matt Park (amused): "Do the sheep shoot? You're the dogs ..."

Jim Boeheim (playing along, but making his point): "We're talking about a group. We're talking about changing the leadership of the group. Sheep: people. Coach: sheep dog."

So there you go. Hop's Herd returns to the Dome tomorrow to take on the Cornell Big Red and we'll see if he's ready to help the Orange recover from last week's Baaaaahhhd road loss.