It's been a tough couple weeks for the Syracuse Orange basketball team and that means its been a tough couple weeks for Jim Boeheim. Apparently, Jimmy's been reading the local paper too much because after the Orange's 63-52 win over West Virginia on Monday, he went into rare form at the press conference.
Boeheim's main gripe seems to be the perceived notion that he's past his prime or not measuring up against certain coaches.
"There are some coaches in the hall of fame that I’ve beat 80 percent of the time. And you’re going to look at a couple of coaches that beat me? I’ve coached against Rick Pitino when he was at Providence five times and once at Kentucky where we were 6-0 against them.
"One of his teams went to the Final Four, we beat them three times. So now we’re all the sudden going to put in the paper that I’ve lost six straight to Rick Pitino? Why don’t we put that I beat him six straight? Go ahead. That’s really good. Why don’t you keep doing that? That’s really good. I appreciate that."
Boeheim then sets his phasers on Syracuse Post-Standard basketball beat reporters Donna Ditota and Mike Waters. After taking some direct shots at them, Boeheim addressed concerns he's past his prime.
"People write, ‘He’s lost it. He’s too old.’ I’ve heard that. It’s been written. It’s been said. I’m eight, 10 months older than I was when I won coach of the year in the country. I must’ve really got hit by something the last 10 months, huh?"
As some one who follows the Syracuse team closely and reads Mike Waters and Donna Ditota's articles regularly, I can honestly say Boeheim's blowing things out of proportion. Waters and Ditota certainly haven't questioned Boeheim's ability to coach at any point. Far worse things have been said in other media outlets than anything Waters and Ditota have done in the last month. If anything, Jim's just frustrated with his team's recent performance, read a couple articles that rubbed him the wrong way, and decided to let loose.
If Boeheim really wants to challenge media members who think he and his team aren't up to snuff, Andy Katz, Jeff Goodman, Gary Parrish and the national media have said far worse than anything the Post-Standard has reported.
Is this kind of distraction what Syracuse needs right now? Coming off three weeks of unrest, shady rumors and questions about the direction of the team, the Orange won a good game on their home court against a solid opponent. That's what everyone should be talking about. Instead, they'll be talking about this.