Everyone was frustrated and annoyed after the Syracuse Orange lost another game. After the Orange fell to the Pitt Panthers in an uninspired effort Jim Boeheim took most of his team to task in the post-game press conference. Boeheim was very pointed and direct in his criticism of Joe Girard’s play in the game but then the Head Coach went in another direction.
"I thought from the beginning when he came to Syracuse, it would take him three years to be able to be a contributor. We need him to do more, but I don’t think he’s capable of it." - Jim Boeheim on Jesse Edwards (1/2)— Syracuse Orange on SI (@SyracuseOnSI) January 26, 2022
No one is sitting here trying to say that Jesse Edwards is an elite college basketball player right now. However the improvement he has made from last year is incredible and when you look at how this roster is constructed he’s held this team and season from being even worse than it is right now. Dare we say without Jesse that this team couldn’t win 10 f’n games? (Yes we know they might not do so with him....just play along today ok)
It’s odd because last week Boeheim told ESPN Syracuse that Jesse was better than “90% of the centers in the country”.
"Jesse is better than probably 90 percent of the centers in the country right now."— Cuse Sports Talk (@CuseSportsTalk_) January 20, 2022
Jim Boeheim isn't here for your questions about Syracuse not having good big men. pic.twitter.com/qvITI1RslN
It’s not just Syracuse folks who are seeing Jesse’s growth this season. Rival schools see him for the challenges he presents their teams when they meet Syracuse.
Edwards hasn’t been elite, but he’s been pretty damn good statistically. 125 ortg on 70% of the teams minutes. 10th in eFG%, and 11th in block% and FTRate nationally. This is a really bad look from Jim, especially when his sons went 12/33 last night combined from the field. https://t.co/4b4GnZJPy1— Riley Johnston (@MSD_RaJohnston) January 26, 2022
We all understand frustration but to call out a player that harshly is really uncalled for in this setting. Edwards is currently leading this Syracuse team in PER (Player Efficiency Rating) by a wide margin. He’s raised his per-game averages from 8.9 minutes, 1.9 points and 2.9 rebounds last year to 29.1 minutes, 12 points and 7 rebounds this season.
He has room to grow but in his third season in Orange he has developed into a solid starting center and he’s been the brightest spot in a dismal campaign. Hopefully Wednesday afternoon’s practice session at the Melo Center starts with a public apology from Head Coach to his players, especially Jesse.