To start, there’s plenty more in the interview too — itself, the first extensive sitdown from Jim Boeheim since February’s car crash killed Jorge Jimenez. Still, it’s the most illuminating portion of this week’s Esquire piece for those that know the long-time Syracuse Orange coach’s story and/or have read either book about him. The other details around him growing up in Lyons, the funeral home anecdotes, his thoughts on the city of Syracuse and the zone defense anecdotes are presented interestingly here. They could also be seen as old hat to a group like this.
Author Tom Chiarella does get closer than most ever do, though, which is what allows him to ask about the accident a bit toward the end of the piece. Of course, that also assumes you get that far after seeing that Chiarella uses the NCAA’s doctored counts for winning seasons, rather than the reality we’ve seen before our own eyes. Can’t blame him there, I suppose. Most outside of this fanbase do, despite what they themselves have witnessed.
The anecdotes around the accident, however, ARE the story here (as is, somehow, the fact that Jim enjoys Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark”). Boeheim recalls what occurred, the letters of support from people who’ve gone through similar accidents, and how his funeral home experience has affected the way he interacts with tragedy. It all paints a fuller picture of how he felt then, and how he’s been feeling since.
Would recommend reading the entire piece to get the most out of it, along with the other Syracuse-related links below.
Everyone agrees, Boeheim plays things a little crabby during games. He prowls courtside, contorts his face, shrugs and smirks up to the refs. When he sighs, he’s like a groaning Whisperliner on the tarmac. He is the face of exasperation. What you see in him is that he’s already seen enough.
“I remember we all ran down there,” Harrison says. “We were tired from the game, but we didn’t walk. We all ran down there. We were all packed in. It was probably, whatever capacity the Varsity is, it was probably 50 more people than that, maybe 75. People were standing on tables and on benches and the booth and stuff. We were blasting the fight song. It was huge and loud and very exciting.”
And it was at Don Bosco, observing Nutile, that DeVito began to see how the relationships bolstered off the field became valuable in games. “As I thought more about it, I tried to incorporate more bonds with people and you start to learn more about them,” DeVito said. “Everybody feels comfortable with you. Everyone trusts you.”
Is Syracuse really going to play man-to-man this season? (The Athletic)
“It’s definitely not like him to say that, for sure,” says 6-6 sophomore Buddy Boeheim, the team’s projected starting 2-guard and also the coach’s 19-year-old son. “But he’s always up for trying different things. I was really interested to see how it would work out.” Quite well, as it turned out. The switch to man helped Syracuse push out to a 15-point lead. When Boeheim went back to the zone early in the fourth quarter, the Orange’s momentum stalled a bit, but the team coasted to a 53-47 win.
The linemen agree the most difficult part of being a big man in the Babers offense is the period of adjustment. When Babers’ staff first arrived in 2016, Syracuse had been running one of the slowest offenses in the country under former head coach Scott Shafer. Babers brought speed to a new system, but as redshirt senior Evan Adams said, “It was just a taste.”
How Syracuse has had Clemson’s number the last two seasons (The Athletic)