After his opening statement talking up Canisius - the Griffins did lead the Orange late in the first half - and some thoughts on Rakeem Christmas, DaJuan Coleman, and James Southerland, Jim Boeheim once again got real. Really real.
Here are the interesting chunks of the transcript from the Syracuse men’s basketball coach’s press conference after the win on Saturday.
Q (paraphrased): Do you have any thoughts about win No. 900 (potentially Monday against Detroit at the Carrier Dome)?
A: No one wants to believe me but I have been thinking ‘9’ and now I am thinking ‘10.’ I know what happens. I know what is going on. I am not stupid. Although there is some people that would argue with that. That just does...not...matter.
This team is the only thing that matters. They don’t care about how many wins. They care about getting the next win. And that’s, that’s it. Everything else just does not matter. It really doesn’t.
I’m happy I’m still here. I’m happy I’ve been here this long. When I was 17-years old i almost went home the first year. So, you know (shakes his head), I’m still here. (Long sniff and not from tears or anything)
(Question about Cooney with relatively benign answer)
Q: How much does the way Michael (Carter-Williams) distributes the ball make your entire team more unselfish?
A: He is the key. He is unselfish and he knows how to get into the lane. He knows where people are. He sees people. He makes creative passes. He really understands the game.
Q (from Syracuse Post-Standard Columnist Bud Poliquin): Jim, is there anything to be said about the Michael Carter-Williams situation?
A (immediately): There is nothing to be said.
Q (from Poliquin): So it is over? It is a done deal?
A (immediately): It’s been over. It’s been over. I gave a complete response which wasn’t printed. I will give that to you. Syracuse police have found nothing to investigate. The mall, the store is happy, is satisfied with the result. Michael is satisfied with the result.
I hope that nobody thinks that I am going to take an anonymous source and make an action because of an anonymous source. I would hope nobody would think I would do that. (The story in question.)
I also wouldn’t take something that is written in the paper as the truth all the time. Thomaselli name comes to mind. So, because it is in the paper doesn’t mean that it is true.
And I am not going to make an action or take an action because of what is in the paper, ever. I hope. If I do, shoot me because I’ll have stayed too long.
It is interesting. There are three or four hundred of those ‘whatever it is’ things that happened that was in the paper. How many of those names were in the paper of those 400? Zero. (Poloquin tries to respond) Zero! There were three people this time. How many of them were in the paper? One.
Q: Did you just say three?
Boeheim: Somebody said three. I didn’t. (Post-Standard beat writer Mike Water tries to respond) Somebody told me three people were involved. In fact, you told me that Mike. Yesterday. (Waters responds). You told me that yesterday. (Waters: OK, OK).
Q (Poliquin): I get what you are saying, but you have to know too that he is a newsworthy kid.
Poliquin: He is newsworthy.
Boeheim: I didn’t say he wasn’t. I just made a comment. I just made a comment, Bud. I think you are newsworthy, but somebody else might not.
Q: It is a new day though in terms of social media. People have phones and taking pictures on them. Do you talk to your players much about how to avoid...
A: I don’t talk to them. (Chuckles)
Q: How often do you talk to them about that?
A: Look, look, look, I have kids that are on the social media everyday. Your kids are on it. You people are on it. This isn’t something new. This isn’t something shocking. This isn’t something we don’t know about. Everybody is on it, but that has no relevance to anything we are talking about right now. Everyone is aware of it.
Part of the growing up process is to go through college and it is somewhere to learn and figure things out. You make bad plays and then you try to make good plays. And when we make a bad play everybody sees it out there. If we make a bad play in public everyone is going to see it. I know that. Our players have to understand that. And it is what it is. It is what it is. You have to be prepared for that.
(Question and answer about Billy Barron...an interesting answer, but it is likely that you have read this far for other reasons)
Q: Coach, any thought on the seven teams leaving the Big East?
A: You know I think it is probably overdue. I think that they have probably been thinking about this, should have been thinking about this for a while.
It has been obvious for a number of years that the football schools were going to leave. This has been going on since Virginia Tech, Miami and those people left. It is pretty obvious and clear to me that there is going to continue to be movement through time.
The only way that they can have a stable league is to create a basketball league. To me, I don’t know if that is the right answer. I don’t know if that will be successful, but it has become pretty obvious to everyone that they could have a really good basketball league.
There are probably 30 or so schools that are good basketball schools that don’t play football. When you count those seven the Atlantic-10’s 16 or 18, whatever they have, and a few other schools so I would think that this is something that probably should work. It should be something that would work down the road. I don’t know if it is going to work, but I am sure that they don’t know either.
But nobody thought the Big East would work in the first place. Obviously it worked. It was really all these schools - the seven in there now, us - have benefited unbelievably from being in the Big East. Benefited beyond any imagination. If it wasn’t for the Big East we’d still be playing in the Manley Field House. None of this would ever happen.
But it is obvious, for a long time, that football and basketball schools have different agendas. Basketball wants to be good in basketball. Football and basketball schools want to be good in both. So they are always going to make decisions based on being good in both. The basketball schools can now make decisions based on being good in what they are good at.
It seems to me that they have enough markets and enough quality of programs to be really good. I watched Butler beat the No. 1 team in the country today. They are a school like that. A non-football. BC, BCS...whatever it is.
So there are schools like that and Creighton and a whole bunch of other schools that are really good. As long as football is going to be jockeying around for..long into the...if I live to be 100 they probably still will be jockeying. So that is probably going to be a good thing.
The final question and answer went back to the players. It was about James Southerland.