New York, N.Y. — In last night’s post-game press conference following a loss to Connecticut, Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boehiem dismissed the idea that Frank Howard was a game-time decision. Howard has been out since the preseason and just recently returned to practice last Friday.
Asked how close Howard was to ending his basketball hiatus, Boeheim shot down the idea that he was anywhere near a return against UConn.
“No idea, no,” Boehiem said laughingly. “If he could play tomorrow, he could have played today. I mean how would you not be? How would you be able to play tomorrow, a miracle cure?
Boeheim quips, but Howard was originally projected to return in Syracuse’s season opener. He’s now missed three games and will miss fourth today against Oregon. Boeheim noted that he never said Howard was a game-time decision.
“Not by me. I never said that,” Boeheim began. “That is not true. He didn’t practice yesterday, he hasn’t practiced hardly at all. I don’t envision him playing, I don’t even know when.”
For a team in dire need of veteran leadership at the point guard position, Syracuse will have to go on without Howard for a while longer. Boeheim later stated that they’re hopeful to have him back in a week or two, but they’re unsure when he’ll return. Syracuse returns home to take on Colgate on Tuesday after the Oregon game. The Orange then travel to Columbus to take on Ohio State on Nov. 28.
Syracuse will have to go with Jalen Carey for a majority of the game at the point. He earned his first start against UConn and finished with 26 points and 7 rebounds but also 6 turnovers. Tyus Battle can always slide over to the point guard position if need be. Howard Washington returned to the court against Eastern Washington.
But for now, Syracuse is without one of its veterans.
“He’s one of our leaders. We know we’ll be really good when we get him back,” Elijah Hughes said of Howard. “We got what we got, we just gotta play hard.”
Howard himself was unavailable to the media.
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