SYRACUSE - Shortly after
the buzzer sounded on Syracuse's hard-fought 64-61 overtime victory
against arch rival Georgetown the announcement was made that Jim Boeheim
had moved past Dean Smith into
third place on the men's all-time coaching victory list. His players
gathered around him briefly on the Carrier Dome court named after him
and the crowd of 27,820 roared its approval for win No. 880. Boeheim
acknowledged the applause with a wave and mouthed
"thank you" before walking, head down, through the tunnel to the locker
later, when he addressed the media, he was more concerned with the
number 17 than the number 880. Seventeen was how many more rebounds the
Hoyas pulled down Wednesday night. Thanks to Kris
Joseph's career-high 29 points, including the decisive 3-pointer with
26.3 seconds remaining, the huge deficit didn't spell defeat.
But it will in the future.
just a disaster for us,'' Boeheim groused, staring daggers at the stat
sheet. "Getting out-rebounded 17 rebounds makes this a disaster game as
far as I'm concerned. I'm very disappointed
at this stage of the year to get beat like that on the boards."
Rebounding is as much a matter of effort and hustle as it is height and
leaping ability. And on this night the Hoyas showed much more desire
when tracking down missed shots.
miss shots; that's part of the game,'' Boeheim continued. "There is no
excuse for the way we are rebounding now. It's a team effort. It's
everybody. It's not one guy."
about the milestone were broached, but the man with more victories than
any men's coach not named Mike Krzyzewski or Bob Knight wanted nothing
to do with them. Rebounds, or lack thereof,
dominated his thoughts.
was a silver lining it was Joseph's performance. The 6-foot-7 senior
forward from Montreal hit 9-of-20 from the field, including 6-of-11 from
beyond the arc.
The question of who will be SU's go-to-guy may have been answered.
bailed us out,'' Boeheim said. "He made some shots for us. Nobody else
looked comfortable shooting the ball. We really struggled offensively."
The SU coach had an inkling the day before that Joseph might have a hot night.
"Yesterday (Tuesday) was the first day I can remember in a long time
that he made a couple of (long) shots in practice,'' Boeheim said. "So, I
was hoping that would be a good sign."
couple of games I haven't been making those,'' Jospeh said. "But I'd
been shooting it well - my mechanics were good,'' Joseph said. "Staff
and teammates kept telling me to shoot the ball.
Tonight's the night they were going in."
last shot proved decisive - enabling the second-ranked Orange to
improve to 24-1 overall and 11-1 in the Big East Conference, while
rivals to 18-5 overall and 8-4 in the league.
was three options,'' Joseph said when asked if the play was designed
for him to take the final shot. "Scoop (Jardine), Dion (Waiters) and
And for some reason (Georgetown) left me open. Maybe they didn't see the
last four or five go in. I was open for the shot and knocked it down."
And by doing so, he enabled SU to outlast its traditional rival and overcome an enormous rebounding deficit.
But Boeheim is right.
SU was fortunate to win on a night when it was beaten so significantly on the boards.
the Orange men want to make a run at the Final Four, they're going to
need to start pounding the boards the way they did earlier in the