For Jim Boeheim, win No. 900 felt more like a loss and it is exactly what he wanted.
The head coach of the Syracuse Men’s basketball team talked about the milestone, old college roommate Dave Bing, and...gun control.
(Click on the links at the right to hear the full version of the press conference.)
From Boeheim's Opening statement
I think we really executed as well on offense as we could in the first half. We got great shots. Our defense was really good. When we play like that, obviously, we are a tremendous team.
Probably the last seven minutes they picked it up a little bit. They got a little looser on offense. They started to go. They hesitated for about 32 minutes and when they started to go we weren't prepared. I think at that point we thought we had control of the game.
It is a good lesson to learn. You never have control of the game.
I think we learned, hopefully, at the end.
We rebounded pretty well except at the end of the game we didn't. We contested their three-point shooters. They were 0-for-14. Then the last four shots we didn't get anybody at all out on the three-point shooters and they made three of them.
I think the one, certainly, good thing that comes out of it Michael having to go to the line. If he misses a couple of those then it is anybody's game. He knocked them down. That was the difference.
Usually you don't learn anything from games that you win.
Look, we learned something.
But, usually, players almost need to lose a game to really think about, "This is what we really have to do. This is what we really have to this thing and that."
I think this game feels more like a loss. Which is good to get one that feels like it, but isn't.
We haven't looked at a lot of tape because there hasn't been a lot to look at.
Boeheim On Dave Bing
It is the only thing that made me nervous.
I went in the locker room and he was sitting there. So that is the first time I have been nervous until...well, I...in a long time.
It was good to have him here and talk to before the game for a while, talk to somebody who has more problems then I've got.
He is the best I have ever been around, in all ways. On and off the court.
He is an example of somebody that you look to in athletics.
Obviously there are some great, great role models in all walks of life. He has always been that.
He was such a great player, he was so athletic, that he could play today without any transition.
He was a better athlete than anybody we've got and we have some pretty good ones.
It was great to have him here.
He made Syracuse basketball.
Syracuse basketball was nothing when Dave Bing came here.
He started it. Got it going. A lot of players have stepped up since than, but he is the guy that got it going.
Boeheim on No. 900, SU Fans
I am proud to be here and to win this game, it was more pressure than I have felt in a long time to get this over with.
I wasn't thinking about losing until a little bit there at the end. That wouldn't have been a good thing to have happen. That very well could've.
We have had so many great players here and I have had so much help.
The fans have been really, really great for a long time.
You win these games with support and with players. I have had tremendous players for a long time. That is how you win these games.
When you coach a long time you are going to win a lot of games. It is as simple as that.
The support of fans can not be overestimated.
You have to have that kind of support in the building to bring recruits in, to help you play better, all those things.
We have had a tremendous, loyal, fan base.
It is not that easy to come to the Carrier Dome all of the time.
That is why we have always been able to be good. This is a great place to coach. That is why I have never really thought about going some place else because we have that kind of support from the fans.
That is really the No. 1 thing that you have to have.
Boeheim on gun control
The second thing, and I think this is going to offend some people, but I was watching television all day today because I don’t, you know, leave.
If we in this country, as Americans, can not get the people that represent us to do something about firearms we are a sad, sad society.
I'm not talking about rifles and things. That is fine.
If one person in this world, NRA president, anybody can tell me why we need assault weapons with 30 shots in the thing...if one person in the world...this is our fault.
This is my fault and your fault and your fault...all your faults. If we don't get out and do something about this...
I saw one guy, a representative that I was very proud of, somebody in his state came out and said [paraphrasing, of course], "We need more guns. We don't need less. We need to give teachers guns."
So they can shoot people, yeah, that is really good thinking to do that.
If we can't get this thing done. You know, I'll go with the mayor of New York City, if we can't get this thing done I don't know what kind of country we have.
This is about us.
This isn't about the President or those other people down there. We need to make them understand. Somehow, this needs to get figured out. Real quick. Not six months from now.
The Orange held off charging Detroit with some late Michael Carter-Willaims free throws as Rakeen Christmas hit the final Orange field goal of the game with 5:36 left.
Carter-Williams talked about being part of history and how the Orange need to improve to keep winning afterward:
"We are a big part of history in college basketball. I'm glad to be a part of it. I know the team is glad to be a part of it. I am pretty sure that all of us, and coach, are ready to prepare for the next game.
Coach didn't really talk about it. He didn't really talk about it at all. It wasn't too bad. It is really a relief that he got his 900th win.
It was a great experience for us (playing in a close game). Even when we have a lead we can't stop playing. I think that is what we did. We didn't get into an offense and that is mostly my fault. We turned the ball over and our defense wasn't good either. We can't give up on teams."
James Southerland went 5-for-6 from three-point range in the first half as he scored 22 points off the bench in Monday’s win:
"It is not over until it is over.
It is great (No. 900). It is my 100th win so I feel great.
It is great when the crowd is into it. It is a different game when the crowd is into it. You could see, when they got rowdy, we pulled away with the win.
It helps a lot. We are going to have tougher games, like this one, down the road. Having a team like this, that didn't play so well, for the first 30 minutes, but they picked up in the end and almost won the game."
We learned that when everything is going wrong we still have to pull it out. That is what we did tonight."