The Basket Ball charity gala went off without a hitch on Saturday but of course someone had to ask Jim Boeheim about Malachi Richardson and whether or not he thought the Syracuse Orange freshman was any closer to going pro. Compared to some previous underclassmen who left easy, Boeheim seems pretty level-headed this time around.
"We talk all the time," Boeheim said. "Everybody has got an opportunity this year to get a llittle better fix on where they are. I think that can be a good thing. The problem is they won't know after (the combine), because they are just starting. Some teams even haven't thought about the draft so the draft changes from day to day. You can be out of the draft, in the draft, out of the draft. It always changes."
Perhaps even more interesting is that Boeheim shares a bit of his personal philosophy about when he thinks a guy should go pro and when he should stay.
"I like our players to go into the draft knowing they're in the Top 15 or so," Boeheim said. "When you don't it's just guesswork. You'll never know. I think he'll benefit from another year. I hope that works that way. But if not he had a tremendous year and if it works out for him to be able to go and it turns out good, we'll be happy for him. We'll do everything we can to prepare for whatever happens.
I wish Boeheim could have said it like this during the Tyler Ennis/Jerami Grant hullabaloo that got him in so much hot water. It makes sense. Boeheim just wants to mitigate risk for his guys. The later you're drafted, the more risk involved in your NBA career panning out. And he's seen enough guys go early and fall short of expectations to warrant concern. But he's also not saying he won't support someone who goes pro. He just saying he wants the player to be smart.
Also, you don't have to read too far between the lines to know that Boeheim really thinks Malachi should come back. But...it's not up to him.