5 takeaways from 2022 Syracuse Basketball Media Day

Jim Boeheim
Oct 14, 2022; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse basketball head coach Jim Boeheim speaks at Syracuse Basketball Media Day. Mandatory Credit: Brett Gustin-The Juice Online.

Syracuse held its annual media day on Friday, less than a month from the first preseason games of the 2022-23 season. Here are five takeaways from the media event.

Boeheim rips the Big 10.

The most talked about quote from Jim Boeheim was his distaste for the Big 10. Boeheim noted that the Big 10 got nine bids last year but none of those teams made the Final Four. Meanwhile, the ACC only received five bids, but two of those teams (North Carolina and Duke) made championship weekend. “They sucked in the tournament. To me, that’s what they did. All of their wins were in their league.” That’s probably going to add some extra juice to the 2022 ACC/Big Ten Challenge. For reference, Syracuse plays at Illinois this year on Nov. 29.

The defense should be better.

What was the more glaring issue during Jim Boeheim’s first losing season? It wasn’t offense. The Orange finished 15th in the country in that category according to KenPom. No, the issue was on the opposite end of the floor. “Our defense wasn’t good enough last year,” Boeheim said. “We were not able to get stops” He expects that to change this year with a more athletic team. While SU may not score as easily this year, Benny Williams, Judah Mintz and Chris Bunch (or Justin Taylor) will all be athletic upgrades over their predecessors Buddy Boeheim, Cole Swider and Jimmy Boeheim.

Syracuse will play man-to-man. No. Really.

Boeheim reiterated that Syracuse will come out of its traditional 2-3 zone and play some man-to-man, something he hasn’t done since a 2009 preseason exhibition loss to Le Moyne. “It’s new to play man to man. We haven’t done that in a while.” But Boeheim said it shouldn’t be much of a transition, especially for the younger players who all played man-to-man in high school.

» Related: Recapping Syracuse basketball’s appearance at ACC Tipoff media day

Mintz, the freshman phenom.

Mintz comes in as Syracuse’s highest guard recruit (33rd in the ESPN 100 rankings) since Tyus Battle. The 6-4, 175-pound guard is likely to be the team’s starting point guard come opening night, and drew high praise from Boeheim. “He’s very athletic. He understands the game.” Boeheim added that he expects all of his freshmen to contribute in one form or another. Still, no freshman is likely to play as much as Mintz, who has drawn rave reviews from his ability in practice.

We’re a tournament team. Is it wrong to think that?

During ACC Media Day on Wednesday, one of the main takeaways from Boeheim’s press conference was that he viewed this Syracuse team as an NCAA Tournament team. The oft-cited quote caught Boeheim off guard. “I didn’t think it was a surprising statement,” he said. After all, since he became head coach in 1976, Syracuse has only missed the tournament seven times (two more if you count postseason ineligibility). “There isn’t any school in the top 100 that doesn’t go into the year thinking, ‘Yeah, we’re going to be a tournament team.'”

Sights and sounds from media day.

 

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About Brett Gustin 62 Articles
Brett is from Canastota, NY, and is currently attending Falk college at Syracuse University studying Sports Analytics. Being a Central New York native, Brett has been passionate about Syracuse sports for his whole life. He covers all Syracuse athletics.