There was a lull in Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim’s post-game press conference following a 61-56 win over Seton Hall.
Normally, Boeheim will give a brief opening statement before fielding questions. That’s how it started as Boeheim initially spoke about his disappointment in his team’s rebounding and its overall poor play on offense.
But when it came time for reporters to ask questions, no one raised their hand.
“No?” Boeheim said. “No questions? OK.”
Boeheim pretended to walk away.
Finally, a reporter broke the silence by asking a question about top-ranked Duke losing freshman Kyrie Irving to a right foot injury.
“That has nothing to do with what we’re doing here, but I’ll give you an answer,” he said.
Irving, a New Jersey native, was one of the nation’s top guards and was averaging 17.4 points before hurting his foot. He has not played since Dec. 4 against Butler.
“With Kyrie, Duke is clearly the best team in my mind,” Boeheim said.
But SU’s coach was quick to downplay the impact of losing Irving, mostly because Duke still has senior Kyle Singler, who has had another outstanding season. The forward is averaging 17.4 points and 5.9 rebounds and has led his team to a perfect 14-0 record so far.
“As long as you have a player like Singler, it doesn’t really hurt you as much,” Boeheim said. “They can score just as well without him. Defensively, they’re just as good. That sounds silly to say, because (Irving) was probably on his way to being the best freshman in the country.”
Boeheim and Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski have a long history with each other.
Boeheim was an assistant coach under Krzyzewski for the US national team in the 1990 FIBA World Championship and 2006 FIBA World Championship, winning the bronze medal both times. Boeheim was also an assistant coach under Krzyzewski for the 2008 Summer Olympics in which the United States won the gold medal.
Wesley Cheng is the Editor in Chief for The Juice Online.