The Syracuse Orange are 1-0 after a 90-72 opening night victory over Lehigh. After the game, Head Coach Jim Boeheim and several of his players shared their thoughts on the win:
- On former Syracuse Athletic Director Jake Crouthamel, who passed away yesterday before the game: “I don’t think people realize what a pivotal figure he has been in Syracuse Athletics history. Making the change to the Dome, getting into the Big East Conference, that was his drive.”
- “Chris (Bell) has got to be able to get loose balls. If he doesn’t, then he’s not going to play.” For what it’s worth, he did turn around later in the conference and call him the best shooter on the team behind Joe.
- Noted Mounir Hima’s two big blocks that led to prime scoring opportunities.
- Though Judah Mintz was really good and played under control.
- “We’ve got an awful lot of work to do. That’s pretty normal for freshmen.”
- On earning his 1,100th career victory: “This is the last time I’m addressing this. This is our first win. We’re 1-0, and that’s the only thing I’m concerned about this whole year.” (So... I guess asking him about winning 1,000 games twice after the next one is a bad idea.)
- On Jesse Edwards: “He was really active tonight. I think he can only get better.”
- On the offensive gameplan this season. “We’re not looking to take a lot of threes... We can score inside; we can get to the lane and get to the foul line.”
- On Judah: “What he did tonight at the mid-range spots... that’s what we want out of him. I’m definitely not going to tell him to stop (shooting) because he’s making that shot consistently.”
- There are “small mistakes” the Orange made in both man and zone defense.
- Jesse driving to the rim and cashing in early on opened up opportunities for him and Judah.
- Symir coming in gave him the chance to play off the ball and briefly reset from running the offense.
- “If you’re going inside, you’re going to get fouled, so free throws are always a point of emphasis.”
- On the Dome crowd: “I loved it... I can’t wait to play more games here. It was everything I dreamed about.”
- Playing with both Jesse and Joe simplifies the game. “You can’t hop off Joe, and you can’t leave Jesse.”
- Having three years of experience playing with Joe makes it easy to improvise with him in the moment.
- On showing some emotion after his three first-half dunks: “When I get a couple of good ones like that, I get fired up pretty quick. That was a lot of fun.”
- On Mounir Hima: “It’s always tough, coming off the bench. Especially in your first game, you’re a little nervous. But he did a great job. Got a couple of blocks in there, and he got his first points.”
- On playing man-to-man defense: “I think we did a good job shutting down their main routes to the basket.”
- “Whatever I can do to add to the team and to add to winning, that’s just what I want to do. If it’s passing and showing my vision, I’m the dude. Or I’ve got to be out there guarding their tallest player, I’ll do it.”
- Felt “amazing” to put all the competitiveness from practice and apply it towards a real opponent.
- On the Dome atmosphere: “Amazing. It was a great scenery, and I can’t wait to see the crowd get bigger and bigger throughout the year.”