Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim had a valid point during his post-game rant following the Orange’s 63-52 win over West Virginia on Monday. But, he also took it a little too far.
First of all, as far as Boeheim rants are concerned, that was pretty mild. I’ve been in that room for some awkward press conferences that felt more like lecture halls or reminded me of being grounded by my father.
Monday was not one of those press conferences.
I think, initially, Boeheim’s point is a valid point. Sometimes (OK, many times), the media will focus on the “what have you done for me lately” stats.
Sometimes, those stats get overblown and talked about more than they should. And, in this case, the stats aren’t all that flattering from Boeheim’s perspective.
A six-game losing streak to Louisville is not a good stat if you’re Syracuse. I don’t know about you, but when I see Louisville on the schedule, I say to myself, “Crap, Louisville has OWNED Syracuse lately.”
I did the same thing all last week.
However, pinning it on Boeheim and saying that BOEHEIM has lost six straight to RICK PITINO is a little out of context. SYRACUSE has lost to LOUISVILLE six straight times.
Boeheim said he took it personally, which I can understand. As someone who wears his heart on his sleeve, I would probably take that personally, too.
But, in defense of the local Syracuse media, it’s their job to point out those stats.
A six-game losing streak to Louisville is a relevant stat when Syracuse goes into Kentucky to play the Cardinals. Yes, they did not point out that Syracuse had beaten Pitino-led teams six times in a row earlier in Boeheim’s career.
But that has no bearing on what’s going on with this year’s team.
When there are seniors on Syracuse’s team that have never beaten Louisville, that’s worth bringing up.
It’s not that anyone was saying Boeheim was a bad coach or that Pitino was a better coach. The stat just shows that Syracuse has not found a way to beat Louisville lately, which is fair and accurate.
Now, where Boeheim went too far was when he called out Donna Ditota of the Post-Standard for not knowing whether Boeheim had played John Beilein’s Michigan team earlier in the year.
First of all, what the hell does that have to do with anything?
And second, because Donna didn’t know that, it means she doesn’t know her stuff, according to Boeheim?
That makes no sense, and is more of a personal attack on her than she supposedly made on him for including stats that did not shed positive light on Boeheim and his team. To later deny on The Score 1260 that he made it personal with Donna is even more offensive.
Listen, Boeheim wields a lot of power in the Salt City.
After having the success he’s had there over the past 35 years, and for what he brings to the city, he’s entitled to that. He brought up a fair point, had his say, and he should have left it at that.
He took it a step farther than it should have gone and now people focus on that rather than the original point he was trying to make.
Matt Dagostino is a Senior Columnist for The Juice Online. He is also a host on the “Young Guns” on Sports Talk 790 The Zone in Atlanta. See more at http://www.790thezone.com/youngguns/
*A previous version of this article had Boeheim criticizing Ditota for her knowledge of Boeheim’s record against Beilein in the past.