Once Jim Boeheim inked his contract extension, it became official that he wasn’t going anywhere.
And after missing the NCAA tournament, graduating four players that played legitimate minutes and losing another early to the NBA Draft — he knows he has a lot to replace for next season.
Last week, Boeheim and assistant Gerry McNamara traveled to Georgia to visit with Class of 2017 four-star forward Jordan Tucker, who had eliminated the Orange from his recruitment back in December.
After a meeting with Tucker, it appears Syracuse is very much back in play for his talents. Tucker is from White Plains, but he recently moved to Georgia after a family member accepted a new job.
For a while, Tucker was down to Indiana and Villanova — but after Tom Crean’s firing, the Hoosiers have fallen off quite a bit. It’s unknown what the hiring of Archie Miller will do for his recruitment, but it likely won’t hurt. Miller is widely respected throughout college basketball, and Tucker may want to be apart of his first season.
As for this past weekend, Syracuse has been after Class of 2018 prospect Hameir Wright to reclassify to 2017. As of right now, it’s unlikely, as Wright is set on playing at Brewster Academy next year. But if anyone can flip him, it’s likely Jim Boeheim.
McNamara watched Wright play on Saturday, and Jim Boeheim felt it necessary to make the trip just one day later to visit with Wright and his head coach at Albany Academy.
If that doesn’t show you how important Wright is to this coaching staff — I don’t know if anything will.
But Boeheim realizes that it’s going to be his program for the foreseeable future, and he doesn’t want to repeat what happened in the 2016-17 season.
All in all, it wasn’t a horrible season — but missing the NCAA tournament is unacceptable in Syracuse, especially when this team was labeled one of his better ones.
Seeing Boeheim out on the recruiting trail is important to not only future recruits, but SU fans. He’s always been invested, no one’s denying that. But now we’re seeing it.
But truthfully, right now he doesn’t have much choice. With Mike Hopkins gone, it’s only Boeheim, McNamara and Adrian Autry — and there’s still plenty that needs to be addressed for next year’s team.
Boeheim doesn’t appear to be slowing down at the age of 72, and history says the longer he says, the better it is for Syracuse basketball.