IHO: Jimmy Boeheim brings ‘hard-nosed’ style to Syracuse basketball

From left, Cornell Big Red forward Jimmy Boeheim, Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim, and SU guard Buddy Boeheim pose for a photo following the game on Nov. 20, 2019, at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, Cornell forward Jimmy Boeheim confirmed rumors that have been floating around for months, announcing his transfer to Syracuse, reuniting him with his father, head coach Jim Boeheim, and his younger brother, guard Buddy Boeheim.

With the news in mind, we sat down with Ivy Hoops Online editor Michael Tony, who covered Jimmy Boeheim throughout his three years in Ithaca. Here’s what he had to say:

The Juice Online: Tell us about IvyHoopsOnline.

Michael Tony: IvyHoopsOnline is a blog that has provided a colorful take on Ivy League basketball since 2011.

TJO: What kind of player is Jimmy Boeheim?

MT: One that Orange fans should feel very lucky is in the family. Boeheim is a hard-nosed, versatile forward who improved substantially in each of his three seasons at Cornell before becoming the Big Red’s leading scorer and rebounder in 2019-20.

TJO: After shooting 35.0 percent from 3-point land in his sophomore season, he shot below 29.5 percent junior year. Was that because he was the top option on the Big Red and more heavily covered?

MT: Boeheim has never been an elite shooter, and after Matt Morgan graduated in 2019, Boeheim became the Big Red’s number one scoring threat, drawing greater attention from defenses. Boeheim had a woeful 7-for-35 (20 percent) three-point shooting stretch in non-conference play but fared better from beyond the arc after that, even against analytically savvy Ivy defenses intent on driving shooters off the 3-point line, so don’t fret over Boeheim having a sub-30 percent year from deep.

» Related: Jimmy Boeheim confirms transfer to Syracuse

TJO: Does he have an ACC caliber defensive and rebounding skill set?

MT: I’d say so. Rebounding and defending were among Boeheim’s strong suits during his time in Ithaca, even as Cornell often struggled as a team on the defensive end of the floor.

TJO: How do you project him doing in his senior season?

MT: Boeheim should have a prominent role in Syracuse’s frontcourt, and while Syracuse fans shouldn’t expect him to average north of 15 points per game like brother Buddy has each of the past two seasons, Jimmy’s intangibles – hustle on the boards, aggressive D and timely scoring – should shine through when he does get a chance to show them off. It should help that his coach knows him pretty well.

Read more about Jimmy Boeheim and Ivy League basketball on Ivy Hoops Online.

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About Wes Cheng 2907 Articles
Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also been a contributing writer for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), for SportsNet New York (SNY) as a news desk writer covering all of New York professional sports, and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005 with a degree in journalism. Contact him at wes[at]sujuiceonline.com.