Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim vented his frustration with the media following Syracuse’s 63-52 win over West Virginia.
Boeheim had come under criticism recently as Syracuse had dropped six of its last eight games heading into Monday’s game after winning 18-straight games to start the season.
“When we lose a couple, we’re not playing right,” Boeheim said during his post game press conference. “People think the season’s over.
“The season’s over when we play 18 games in the league. We have four more games left by that count. People start talking about the end of the world around here when it starts raining. It rains a lot here. I think we need to keep perspective a little bit.”
Boeheim had several targets for his frustration, but his primary targets seemed to be The Post-Standard basketball beat writers Donna Ditota and Mike Waters.
In SU’s most recent loss, a 73-69 set back to Louisville on Saturday, Ditota wrote a preview for the game titled, “Louisville, winners of six straight against SU, has understood how to defend the Orange.”
Boeheim seemed to take exception with the article — and others like it — highlighting how Louisville coach Rick Pitino had beat Boeheim in six (now seven) straight games.
“There are some coaches in the hall of fame that I’ve beat 80 percent of the time,” Boeheim said. “And you’re going to look at a couple of coaches that beat me? I’ve coached against Rick Pitino when he was at Providence five times and once at Kentucky where we were 6-0 against them.
“One of his teams went to the Final Four, we beat them three times. So now we’re all the sudden going to put in the paper that I’ve lost six straight to Rick Pitino? Why don’t we put that I beat him six straight? Go ahead. That’s really good. Why don’t you keep doing that? That’s really good. I appreciate that.”
Post-Standard columnist Bud Poliquin asked Boeheim if Boeheim felt he had been treated unfairly.
“I don’t think it’s fair to take a snapshot,” Boeheim said. “You write, what, a 100 articles a year for the paper? One-hundred-fifty. Two hundred. Someone looks at six or seven of them and says, this is bad.
“Is that a good judgment of your career? No. I don’t think so. I don’t think that’s how you judge people, or coaches or players. I don’t think that’s what you do. But that’s the way it’s done around here. Doesn’t mean I’m going to like it. Doesn’t mean I’m not going to stand up here and let it go. Because when I let things go like that, it will be time for me to leave.”
Boeheim followed this by asking the reporters on hand if they thought former West Virginia and current Michigan head coach John Beilein was a good coach. Then he asked Ditota what his record against Beilein was.
“No idea,” Ditota said.
“Well, then you don’t know your business,” Boeheim said.
“Why would I know that? Why would I know John Beilein’s record against you? When is the last time you played John Beilein?” Ditota said.
“This year,” Boeheim said. “Mike, you know?”
“I don’t think he’s ever beaten you,” Waters said.
“Yeah, you don’t think,” Boeheim said. “You’re right. That’s the way they work here. They think that’s cute.”
As for the talk that Boeheim should retire?
“People write, ‘He’s lost it. He’s too old.’ I’ve heard that,” Boeheim said. “It’s been written. It’s been said. I’m eight, 10 months older than I was when I won coach of the year in the country. I must’ve really got hit by something the last 10 months, huh?”
For Boeheim, the criticism was taken personally.
“You want to talk about personal? Yeah, it’s personal,” Boeheim said. “When people write and say things about me it’s personal to me. Always will be.”