Syracuse men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim questioned a reporter’s credibility based on his height and perceived lack of basketball experience following a 64-54 home win over Clemson on Wednesday night.
On Monday, Matthew Gutierrez, who covers Syracuse basketball for The Athletic, tweeted that the Orange would be “somewhere around 17-5 overall” and in the field of 68 if reserves Jesse Edwards and Kadary Richmond had logged more minutes. The duo combined to score 12 points in a 72-70 win over North Carolina that day.
Gutierrez tweeted on Tuesday that he and Boeheim were “all good on this” after they had a conversation about his observations. On Wednesday, however, Boeheim seemed to respond to Gutierrez’s original tweet when asked a question postgame.
“But if I’d played Jesse and Kadary, we’d probably be 22-2 now,” Boeheim said after Wednesday’s win. “I just didn’t see that. Couldn’t figure it out by myself after 45 years. I need a reporter to figure that out … who has never played basketball and is 5-foot-2.”
Edwards (1.9 points per game) and Richmond (6.9 PPG) combined to score five points Wednesday.
Syracuse is a bubble team that is listed in ESPN insider Joe Lunardi’s “Next Four Out.”
Wednesday night wasn’t the first time Boeheim’s remarks drew attention this season. Last month on his radio show, following Duke freshman Jalen Johnson’s decision to opt out to prepare for the NBA draft, Boeheim said the projected lottery pick was “hurting” the Blue Devils, who had become a better team in its subsequent games without him.
After facing criticism, including from ESPN commentator Jay Bilas, Boeheim tried to walk back his comments.
“This is no dispersion, casting dispersion on Jalen Johnson,” Boeheim said at a postgame news conference last month. “I haven’t even seen Jalen Johnson play this year, to be honest. He’s a tremendous player. Probably be a great pro. I just made the observation, my opinion, that I thought they played better without him in those two games. Jay Bilas said I said they’re a better team without him, permanently. I didn’t say that. I didn’t mean to say that.”