The Coach's Show | Syracusefan.com

The Coach's Show

SWC75

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Like Coach Marrone’s show, Coach Boeheim’s showis on locally at TK-99 FM but on Thursdays at 7PM, rather than 8PM on Wednesdays. Fans can call the show from 1-888-7GO-CUSE, (1-888-746-2873) or 315-424-TK99, (315-424-8599), or E-Mail the coach from the Radio Mailbox link on the front page of SU Athletics.com They are at the Delmonico’s Restaurant and you can ask questions there live.

There does not appear to be a second hour of the show this year, (which is fine with me- the second hour was traditionally repetitive).

My Questions/Comments

“Coach, the defense looks great and I suspect we’ll win a lot of games when we get 20+ turnovers and run with them as we have been doing. But against a lot of teams we’ll find ourselves in the half-court game. In recent years we’ve been blessed with some strong inside scorers in Arinze Onuaku and Rick Jackson. They could post people up and score over or around them. They could pass to each other or back out for jump shots. Our big men this year seem advanced defensively but how much can they give us offensively and how important is a post-up scorer in your offense?”

HCJB

Brian Higgins was hosting the show tonight: Matt Park will be doing the Doug Marrone Show right after this.

Brian wished the coach a happy birthday and congratulated him on the good start. Coach said they still had a lot to work on and repeated his point from the press conference that it’s important to win but even more important to continue to develop the team by working on the “negatives” in practice, which they are doing.

They talked about Coach K passing Bobby Knight. Jim lauded him as a “great coach in a great place with great players. To dominate a league like the ACC with 15 league titles and got to 11 Final Fours is hard to do.”

Brian asked what it was like to start the season with three games in four days. Jim said we’d done similar things before and usually have an early season stretch like that. UCONN won 5 games in a row to win the Big East Tournament last year. “These players practice 2 ½ hours per day, 6 days a week. A caller alter asked about how the coach balances playing time. JB said “Everybody wants to play 35+ minutes. It’s easier when we have 5 clear starters and 3 reserves. When you have a Derek Coleman, he would not have been comfortable in a rotation. He wanted to play 38 minutes a game. But we don’t have a first team All-American this year. Everybody is similar in terms of talent. We won’t play ten players ever game but we’ll play 8-9 and see how it develops.”

Brian suggested that with such balance among so many players, the players can go as heard as they want. JB said the players are in good enough shape to play 35 minutes if they had to, with TV time-outs every 4 minutes. Some games are slower than others and that helps. Brian suggested that the depth allows SU to press ore. JB said that they’d worked more on the press than they ever did before, “even when we used to press all the time. But I’m still not sure it’s a viable option.”

Brian asked if the plan for Colgate was the same as it had been with Fordham, Manhattan and Albany- to play a lot of players and develop the team. JB: “Our plan is to win. We will play guys in the order that will help us win. We don’t have a plan to get guys into the game. Some guys will play more in some games than others. Five clear starters and 3 reserves is easier. Different players react differently to a rotation. In practice we work with some players at one time and they go hard while the others observe. Then (the players we were working with) go out and the others go hard. Players have to know they have consistent time. It’s harder to adjust to sitting for 10-12 minutes at a time. Josh Pace was one who could sit for a long time and then come in and play well.” Brian said that somewhere right now, wherever he was Josh pace is making one of those floaters.

I called in my question about inside scoring. Coach said that he’d like some inside scoring but we are more likely to get it from dribble penetrations and dishes this year than set plays for the centers. “You don’t have to throw the ball in there. We didn’t do that with Rick until his senior year. We’ll have to score more from the perimeter.” He mentioned that some teams don’t post people up down low. “Pitt was like that last year. Duke uses the perimeter game. Villanova never goes inside. Other teams like UNC do run their offense inside. Our big guys have to finish.” He noted that Fab and Baye totaled 22 points vs. Albany.

They discussed the upcoming games in New York. Jim said that we will still be playing games in new York in future years. We’ll try to play St. John’s in the garden. We’re set to play a tournament in the new arena in Brooklyn next year. Brian noted that Adrian Autry ought to be able to supply a good scouting report for Virginia Tech. “He’s familiar with their players. They lost two guys who did everything for them last year. They are a better team because they have more balance. Stanford has a good, young team and Oklahoma State will be very good this year.

“People talk about how talented we are. Everybody we play is talented. Stanford, Virginia tech and Oklahoma State are all very good. It will be a good tournament, one that will show us what our weaknesses are. Florida is a legitimate top 10 team. They will have the best perimeter game we will see all year. Erving Walker is quick and aggressive. Marquette and Louisville have the same guys back that beat us last year. Cincinnati has everyone back. Connecticut lost a great player but they have four starters back. Everybody is talented. The fans don’t know this but the players do….It‘s unfortunate that people are talking about Final Fours. We have two McDonald‘s All-Americans, (in the recruiting class). Pitt has one and he played four minutes the other night. North Carolina has about 8-9 McDonald‘s All-Americans.”

They discussed Pittsburgh’s loss to Long Beach State. JB said that Pitt “lost three terrific players- Wanamaker, brown and McGee, who ahs started for them for three years. They will be down a bit this year. Long beach State will be an NCAA team this year.” Brian noted that the 49ers will be playing Kansas, North Carolina and Xavier, as well as San Diego State this year. “And they will be competitive with all of them”.

Jim was asked to access the national scene. He felt that North Carolina and Kentucky were the two top teams- they have great front lines and are very physical and have great guard play- and there were 7-8 teams below “who think they can get there”. he mentioned Connecticut, Duke, Alabama and Kansas. “And we think we can get there, too. We have 3-4 freshmen and sophomores. Two years ago Wesley Johnson was an experienced player. Arinze Onukau and Andy Rautins were fifth year seniors. We had Scoop and Kris coming off the bench. That was a much more stable team. This team will take longer but we hope to compete for a national championship at the end of the year. But we have lots of work to do.

George in Mattydale wondered if the coach would compare Baye Moussa Keita to Hakim Warrick or Wendell Alexis. JB said that Keita is a center, those guys were forwards. “We’ve never really had a center like Baye. Roosevelt Bouie was similar but he was stronger and more physical.”

Brian noted that Fab Melo looks so different and more athletic than last year. JB: “Last year, he got tired in warm ups. He never really got himself in shape. Now he’s in much better shape and can play longer.”

Brian also said that Kris Joseph has played “with nice consistency.” JB: He’s still not in shape yet. His surgical knee is fine- 100%. It’s the other one he banged up. It wills till take time to get him where we want him to be.”

Dion Waiters: “We want him in attack mode. The difference this year is that he’s doing a great job on defense. So I Michael. We know what Scoop can do and we are optimistic about our guard play.”

Coach said he had seen the new “Carrier Classic” and thought it was “a neat thing”. Coaches have gone to Afghanistan and we’ve had Fort Drum soldiers here. They are the guys on the ground in Afghanistan.”

There will be no show next week due to Thanksgiving. The team is going to practice that day and then go back to the hotel for Turkey dinner. The next show will be Thursday, 12/1/11.

(The Bernie Fine allegations hit the wires after the show and there was nothing said about it during the show.)
 

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