Head coach Jim Boeheim of the Syracuse Orange looks on during the second half against the Duke Blue Devils at JMA Wireless Dome
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Jim Boeheim Has Overstayed His Welcome at Syracuse

Overstaying your welcome can make everyone around you feel various emotions. Annoyance, anxiousness, exhaustion. You may not feel it, but the others in your company definitely are. This seems to be what is happening in Syracuse, as Jim Boeheim is in the midst of 46th year coaching the Orange. Boeheim has been making news lately for his press conference antics, clearly a reflection of the less than stellar season he's having, and people are wondering if it's time for the 2nd winningest Division I men's basketball coach to call it a career. 

This season has been mediocre for the Orange. At the time of this article, they are 15-10 overall and 8-6 in ACC play. This puts them in the middle of the pack in their conference, putting them on the bubble for the NCAA tournament, if they are even in consideration at the moment. Tough to see a path for them getting in outside of being awarded an automatic bid, as the ACC this year is pretty weak. It is definitely not the ACC of the old, and neither have Syracuse been under Jim Boeheim.

Yes, they've made a recent splash in the tournament, making the Sweet Sixteen in 2021, but that was more of a team getting hot at the right time than a team being dominate all season long. Boeheim hasn't led a team to a Top 2 finish in their conference since the 2013-2014 season, Syracuse's first year in the ACC. Since then, they haven't finished better than 7th in the ACC.

Syracuse Slump Proves Boeheim Cannot Adapt

Head coach Jim Boeheim of the Syracuse Orange addresses the media after the Syracuse Orange defeat the Northeastern Huskies

Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images

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Part of the problem is Boeheim's game plan is a bit archaic. In the 2000s, his 2-3 zone defense was stellar. It was very hard to play against, making very good offenses look abysmal. But he has never adapted this game plan to today's game. Centers no longer just hover underneath the basket like they did then. They've added a mid-range shot, some have even added a three-point shot to their game. More threes are being attempted than ever before, and are being made at a higher rate, which is a killer for any zone defense. And Boeheim doesn't have that play maker that can take over a game, who's reliable when push comes to shove. It's probably difficult to convince players to spend their winter in Syracuse, NY, but at one point he did have Carmelo Anthony.

Speaking of Carmelo Anthony, Boeheim has recently groveled at the new NIL deals being made throughout college basketball. In what felt unprompted during an interview with Pete Thamel, Boeheim accused Miami, Pittsburgh, and Wake Forest. ""This is an awful place we're in in college basketball," Boeheim said. "Pittsburgh bought a team. OK, fine. My [big donor] talks about it, but he doesn't give anyone any money. Nothing. Not one guy. Our guys make like $20,000. Wake Forest bought a team. Miami bought a team. ... It's like, 'Really, this is where we are?' That's really where we are, and it's only going to get worse." He later said he misspoke and shouldn't have included Pitt or Wake Forest, as Miami was the only school that had public usage of the NIL.

Boeheim has also recently been doing a great impression of Clint Eastwood's character in "Gran Torino" at press conferences. His "get off my lawn" attitude has been making headlines, not only in the Syracuse area, but throughout college basketball. After a loss to Virginia, a student reporter asked Boeheim why starting forward Benny Williams, wasn't even in the building for the game. "Is that your question?" Boeheim responded in stern fashion. "That's the most important question you have?" He then went on to say he didn't like the reporter's attitude. After a North Carolina loss, he didn't even answer any questions. A reporter started the press conference asking why Syracuse can't close out big games, Boeheim snarled and said "We're done here."

In 2015, Boeheim announced he would retire by 2018. He then decided against that plan, once his expected successor and long-time assistant, Mike Hopkins, left the team. Recently he claimed he plans to coach again next year, and would love to coach until he is 80. He just recently turned 78. Has the 46-year veteran overstayed his welcome at Syracuse? The game does seem to be slipping away from one of the greatest coaches to ever helm a Division I men's program.

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