Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim hasn’t been nervous in a long time.
But in the hours leading up to Boeheim’s 900th career win as a head coach, he walked into the locker room, and sitting there was his teammate in his playing days, Dave Bing.
“That was the only thing that made me nervous,” Boeheim said. “I had a chance to talk to him before the game for awhile and I talked to somebody who’s got more problems then I have.”
Bing watched as Syracuse nearly blew a 22-point lead to Detroit, where Bing is currently the mayor. But the Orange hung on for a 72-68 win, which brought a smile to Bing’s face.
“I’m proud of him because he stuck with it,” Bing said. “He’s proven that he’s one of the best coaches ever in college basketball to get 900 (wins).”
Bing is widely regarded as the best player in Syracuse basketball history. After a prolific career on The Hill where he averaged 24.8 points per game, Bing was selected with the No. 2 overall pick of the 1966 NBA draft by the Detroit Pistons.
He would play 12 years in the NBA, mostly with the Pistons, and averaged 20.3 points and six assists per game. In 1990, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and was also named one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players.
“Syracuse basketball is what it is because of Dave Bing,” Boeheim said.
Bing said what makes Boeheim remarkable is that his 900 wins have all come at one school. The feat is not likely to be replicated ever again because of constant coaching changes and the ever-changing college basketball landscape with conference realignment.
“This is history and he’s part of it,” Bing said. “Syracuse as a city, upstate New York and the University is lucky to have had someone of this caliber not only has he won games, he’s developed a lot of young men. I know a lot of guys who have came under Jim who have gone on to do very well for themselves and they attribute that to his teaching.”
Boeheim and Bing were roommates at Syracuse during their playing days and frequently spoke about what they would do after they graduated. Neither Bing or Boeheim ever pictured what happened on Monday night.
“But here we are,” Bing said.
900 wins later.
- Moe Neal to choose between Syracuse, Wake Forest — Cuse Clicks - July 28, 2015
- Jamal Holloway to choose between Syracuse, three others on Tuesday — Cuse Clicks - July 27, 2015
- Julian Whigham — Meet the 2015 Syracuse Football team - July 23, 2015
- Florida State Seminoles — 2015 Syracuse Football preview - July 22, 2015
- Former Syracuse target Harry Giles cuts list to five schools — Cuse Clicks - July 21, 2015
- Trevon Duval in running for 2017’s top spot — Cuse Clicks - July 20, 2015
- Adly Enoicy — Meet the 2015 Syracuse Football team - July 16, 2015
- Pittsburgh Panthers — 2015 Syracuse Football preview - July 15, 2015
- Syracuse target Michael Porter Jr. doesn’t lack options — Cuse Clicks - July 14, 2015
- Report: 2016 combo guard Tyus Battle commits to Syracuse - July 13, 2015