As the embers of the twilight of the 2015-2016 Syracuse basketball season die out, Orange fans should make note that head coach Jim Boeheim will achieve a most noteworthy accomplishment.
While next year’s schedule is not yet set for Syracuse, sometime around the holidays, fans of the program will have something momentous to celebrate.
Yes, the list of ACC opponents is set and a few non-conference foes are known (St. John’s, South Carolina, Monmouth, a team from the Washington DC area whose name I choose to keep out of my mouth/off my fingers), but most of the non-conference slate is clear right now and almost no dates are set.
But, that 12th win next season will be another day when the odometer flips over to a nice, round number once more for Boeheim. Win #900.
Yes, you bought a ”900 wins” t-shirt a few years ago and as soon as Syracuse notches their 11th win next season, you know you can pull it out of the drawer for the next SU game in anticipation of Boeheim winning his 900th game.
After all, that 900th win will once again put him in front of Bobby Knight as the second-winningest head coach in NCAA Division I men’s basketball history.
It will be an amazing night (or day, depending on how the schedule works out).
Or, the 11th win of the 20-16-2017 season will be more meaningful than the one that comes after it.
After all, that will be Boeheim’s 1,000th win as the head coach at SU.
Regardless of what the NCAA says, others have noted about the wins that were stricken from Boeheim’s record, “they played the games, they kept score, we know who won.”
So, frankly, those wins should still count.
What’s really going to be lost by him not having those wins count on his record?
Boeheim will still be second on the all-time wins list. He’s not catching Mike Krzyzewski for the all-time record unless Coach K retires today and, if that should happen out of nowhere, Boeheim might still need to tack an extra season on to his pre-retirement plan.
Roy Williams, who is third among active coaches, is 105 wins behind the number the NCAA acknowledges for Boeheim (888). And he is staring at six more years of coaching to catch Boeheim, who is scheduled to hold the reins for two more years. And Roy’s total also comes with the caveat of “if the NCAA doesn’t strip him of wins when they rule on UNC’s academic scandal”.
Are they clearing a path of John Calipari to pass him in 2029? The coach of Kentucky who says his main goal is to prepare kids for the NBA?
In short, the whole removal of wins from Boeheim’s record is stupid.
Boeheim said he doesn’t care (and he will know how many games he actually won, regardless of hat the NCAA says).
What’s the real penalty, the court with Boeheim’s name on it will have a banner hanging above it with 900-some wins on it instead of 1,000-some wins?
Don’t forget, the NCAA gave Joe Paterno back his wins posthumously in a nice show of “who can really be petty”. I got five bucks that says at some point, the NCAA record will show Boeheim has over 1,000 wins.
The bet just won’t be final until the year 2050.
So remember, win #11 in Syracuse’s 2016-2017 campaign. Yes, it might come between Christmas and New Year’s against a school you don’t really believe fields an NCAA D-I basketball program, but it will come.
And it will be win #1,000.