Big East Summer Capsules: Syracuse OrangePosted by mlemaire on July 19th, 2012
While most relish the onset of Summer, college basketball junkies do not. Most of the news surrounding the sport is recruiting rumors and commitments or injuries and transfer news. In order to help keep folks up-to-date on what their teams are doing during the summer, we put together these summer capsules for each team in the conference. Next up is Syracuse.
1. Now we know, this season will be the program’s last hurrah in the Big East.
Most knew this was coming, but now it is official. The Orange will bolt for the ACC in July 2013 after reaching an agreement with the Big East, and they will be taking one of the conference’s most storied basketball programs with it. I don’t care how you slice it; this is bad news for people who enjoy Big East basketball. The ‘Cuse was a perennially elite team, and no matter who the conference tries to woo to replace the Orange, they won’t be able to fill those shoes. There are a whole slew of rivalries that will be cast aside, and Jim Boeheim, one of the game’s all-time great talkers, will be taking his sarcastic wit to slightly warmer climates. The Orange are going to continue to be one’s of the game’s best programs on a yearly basis, but for those of us who grew up on John Wallace, Etan Thomas, and Gerry McNamara, the move is going to be a bitter pill to swallow.
2. The coaching staff goes national.
At this point everyone who cares knows that Jim Boeheim has been an assistant to Mike Krzyzewski on the Olympic team for some time now. But some may not have realized that assistant coach Mike Hopkins will also be coaching for the country, as he is the co-head coach of the National Select Team and both coaches have said they expect to learn a lot from the experience. Boeheim has also admitted that their absence puts a stress on recruiting, although he downplayed its impact. This will be the first year that Boeheim has coached for Team USA in July, which is usually the summer month when he does the most recruiting. Still, the Orange also haven’t exactly been on the downswing when it comes to signing talent in recent years, so Syracuse fans should probably take this as a positive.
3. Dealing with Fine fallout.
While most of the media attention dried up when the story stalled, the sad and complicated saga of former Syracuse assistant coach Bernie Fine continues to occasionally rear its ugly head. A recent report from the special committee of the university’s Board of Trustees found that the university’s initial probe into the sex-abuse probe was flawed, but that didn’t stop Gloria Allred, the lawyer for alleged victim Bobby Davis, to trash the report’s findings anyway. Boeheim is busy with his Olympic responsibilities and the incident doesn’t involve any of the current players in the program, but at the very least it serves as a gloomy reminder that these allegations are going to take awhile to fade. The media attention and questions won’t be nearly as intense next season as they were last season, but they won’t completely disappear either, so Syracuse and especially Boeheim should prepare themselves for that.