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Jim Boeheim defends Mike Krzyzewski in post-game comments

The Syracuse head coach also criticized those who disagreed with the Duke head coach’s comments

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Boston College Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

After the Syracuse Orange defeated the Boston College Eagles 101-63 on Saturday, Jim Boeheim took some time in his opening statement to the media after the game to address Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s comments regarding playing college basketball right now. He also took the time to comment on the statements made by other head coaches that disagreed with Krzyzewski.

“Everybody knows that Mike Krzyzewski’s a friend of mine,” said Boeheim. “Mike said in the summer, and September and October, that we should delay the season. For some young coach, who should know better but didn’t, to suggest that Mike Krzyzewski doesn’t want to play because he lost a couple of games? He’s only won 1,100. Anybody that knows anything about college basketball knows that Mike Krzyzewski said that in the very beginning. In the very beginning. Looking into a delay of the season. Delay the tournament.”

The comments that Boeheim are referring to were first brought to light after Duke’s loss to Illinois on Tuesday. Krzyzewski said that he though “it didn’t feel right to anybody” to play right now given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“I would just like for the safety, the mental and physical health of players and staff to assess where we’re at,” Krzyzewski said.

There have been multiple people who have disagreed with Coach Krzyzewski’s comments, including Alabama head coach Nate Oats, who appears to be the young coach that Boeheim is referring to in his comments above.

“Do you think if Coach K hadn’t lost his two nonconference games at home that he would still be saying that?” Oats said. “We 100 percent should be playing basketball.”

Boeheim came to the defense of his long-time friend in Krzyzewski, later adding:

“Mike Krzyzewski, anybody that thinks he would not play because the team lost two games, it’s sad,” said Boeheim. “I feel bad for somebody that would make a statement like that... Mike Krzyzewski isn’t saying that because he doesn’t want to play or he doesn’t have a good team. He said that consistently from the beginning of the year. It’s sad to see somebody say something like that. Really speaks to somebody’s character.”

Boeheim did add that he disagreed with the idea that the NCAA college basketball season should be delayed. He said that because the recently-approved COVID-19 vaccine wouldn’t be available for players and others regularly until the summer, delaying the season for a month or two wouldn’t change much in regards to the landscape and the safety of the game. He added that campus was the safest proven place for his players.

While others have attacked Krzyzewski for his remakes on reassessing whether the season should be played due to losing games to Michigan State and Illinois, Boeheim at the very least has disregarded those losses as a reason for the Duke head coach’s comments.