The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team is set to make a Sweet 16 appearance on Saturday after winning its first two games in the NCAA Tournament.
Junior guard Buddy Boeheim is big reason why, dropping 55 points through two games on 13-23 (56.5%) shooting from outside. As such, the NBA buzz has started for the 6-foot-6 Boeheim as he’s captured the attention of scouts at the next level.
Still, the news is a bit surprising to Boeheim as he grasps the attention of those beyond the borders of central New York.
“That’s crazy to me, to be honest. I never even dreamed about playing in the NBA. Never thought about it once. Just to even be ... people bringing that up, I mean is crazy to me because I never thought I’d be in this position,” Boeheim said in a Zoom on Wednesday night.
Boeheim talked at length about his NBA prospects. He opined that he still has a long way to go, but how the idea of playing at the next level is encouraging.
“I know I’m not close to those guys yet,” He said. “But it means a lot and just encourages me to keep working hard and shows how far I’ve come and how much farther I can go.”
Since arriving in Indianapolis for the NCAA Tournament, Boeheim has said numerous times that playing at Syracuse and playing for his dad means everything to him. It’s been a dream come true playing at Syracuse, even if he’s still a little incredulous at times.
“Growing up I was just more of a fan. I never pictured myself out there really. I was just so excited to be at the games, being able to be a part of the program, always being there every step of the way looking up to players and coaches,” He said. “I never really dreamed about being out there on the court. I hoped it would happen but don’t really think I could imagine it because it was a dream for me always and I love Syracuse more than anything.”
Given Boehiem’s size and ability to shoot the ball, it’s understandable why his skills would be coveted at the next level. He’s drawn comparisons to Duncan Robinson and JJ Redick. We know how this works.
Whether or not the NBA is enough to pull him away from Syracuse and another year (or two) under his dad, is yet to be determined. Of course, no player is going to admit to leaving after the season with games left on the schedule. But for now Boeheim says he’s taking it one day at a time.
“Right now though I’m really just focused on the next game and trying to take it day by day. Because we still have a lot of work to do,” Boeheim said.