clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Syracuse basketball media day: Boeheim hits on NCAA scandals, man-to-man defense

He said it last year, and it didn’t happen then, but Jim Boeheim again proposed spurts of man defense for Syracuse this season.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Georgia Tech Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Almost seven months to the day, March 19, when the Syracuse Orange extended Jim Boeheim to continue to patrol the sidelines he has for over 41 years, he received a handful of questions about SU’s upcoming season at media day.

The main platter was a topic the Orange know well from a few years ago: NCAA scandal. And Boeheim took the North Carolina and Rick Pitino questions head on. Sort of.

The consensus was as follows; agents are dubious, endorsements won’t fix the game, neither will jersey sales, and teams will still venture outside of the rules even if players are compensated.

“We have a good game,” he said. “Pretty good.”

“Pretty good” indeed. But as FBI agents round up basketball coaches like drug lords, none of them are heads of their programs, and the North Carolina Tar Heels sit safe after the NCAA dismissed their investigation a power-structure problem in the sport seems to exist. But Boeheim wouldn’t touch it. To him, nothing will change “people doing things.”

Then came the comparisons to Syracuse’s sanctions for academic rules violations. He wasn’t going to comment, then (of course) he did. Seems like he has the same questions the rest of us did when the ruling came down.

As Syracuse prepares to be “doing things” tonight themselves, playing a team scrimmage at the Carrier Dome tonight seasoned with skill events and free chicken tenders (edible gold at SU), Boeheim provided hints at what the team may look like this season.

Fair warning, if you’ve been sold on the Orange playing man-to-man in the past and don’t want to do it again, please exit the ride now.

Boeheim said that he thinks he’ll use “a lot” of three-guard lineups this season. It makes sense. They’ve lost personnel on the interior and Tyus Battle has the physical versatility to play across the wing positions. As for the defense with those lineups, it has to be the zone. Right?

Don’t assume anything.

In other notes, Geno Thorpe won’t participate in Orange Madness tonight with an ankle injury (seems concerning...). Boeheim also thinks they’ll shoot less threes this year after a season where they heaved over 23 attempts per-game. And he had nothing to say about Taurean Thompson’s departure.

The season doesn’t (un)officially begin until tonight’s rally. But Boeheim wasted no time in keeping everybody on their toes. Look out for man defense, or don’t. This early, it all seems to be up in the air.