Yesterday, Syracuse Post-Standard columnist Bud Poliquin wrote a piece titled “Syracuse basketball isn’t in six-week swoon; it’s more like three-year downward spiral.” Today, head coach Jim Boeheim let everyone know exactly what he thought of that.
Poliquin’s headline was extreme, sure, but not totally baseless—he centers the column on the fact that Syracuse has been .457 in conference play and .316 against Top-25 opponents in the three years since the team’s last no. 1 ranking. Boeheim’s response, during the post-game press conference for today’s win over Pittsburgh? “Those are just numbers that you put in the paper that don’t mean anything.” All that matters is NCAA tournament play, and since Syracuse was under a self-imposed postseason ban two years ago, you can’t even try to judge that season, can you? And last year, when Syracuse went to the Final Four as a no. 10 seed, after being ranked for only one week with a 19-12 regular season record—how can someone critique a Final Four team with numbers?
That logic was followed to this point:
Boeheim: “We had a great year last year, so you can’t string together that we’ve had three calendar years or half-calendar years—”
Poliquin: “But I did!”
Boeheim: “And it’s wrong! I think it’s wrong, because it didn’t indicate what happened. We went to the Final Four, that negates all the losses.”
Boeheim made sure to let everyone know that he really doesn’t care so much, not at all—“but I’m not upset”—before wrapping things up.