Syracuse Basketball: Is 2022-23 Jim Boeheim’s Final Season?
Do I have any real solid evidence to back up this take? No, but sometimes you just have to let one fly.
Jim Boeheim has been coaching at Syracuse for over 40 years. He ranks second all-time for wins by a DI coach with 998 entering 2022-23 (technically he has 1,099 but he had to vacate a bunch of them). He won the 2003 national title and has reached the Final Four twice since then. His trademark zone defense has been the modus operandi for his entire tenure, giving non-conference opponents fits come tournament time. Recently we’ve seen a number of legendary head coaches retire: Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams, Jay Wright, Bob McKillop. Could Boeheim be the next all-time great to call it quits?
Boeheim has mentioned retirement before. He planned to walk away after 2018, but coach-in-waiting Mike Hopkins left for the Washington job and Boeheim stayed. Last spring, he claimed there was a “plan in place” for his retirement but declined to say when that would be. If not this year, it appears his retirement is quickly approaching.
Last season, Jim Boeheim had the opportunity to coach his two sons, Buddy and Jimmy. Both graduated and are no longer with the program. Although he’s staying on for this season, the departure of his sons lines up rather nicely with a potential Jim Boeheim retirement.
Boeheim recently announced that returning guard Joe Girard would be averaging 20+ points per game.
Maybe you don’t follow college basketball close enough to truly understand the Joe Girard Experience, but long story short, it’s great if Girard is your fourth-best player. The go-to guy? Ehhh not so much, unless you’re a real fan of contested threes at the end of the shot clock. It seems like Boeheim is really phoning it in if Girard is actually going to get that type of usage. With the departures of the Boeheim brothers and Cole Swider, this year’s iteration of Syracuse projects to be an ACC basement-dweller. There doesn’t seem to be anything remarkable enough at Syracuse to keep Boeheim there much longer.
Here’s another interesting wrinkle. A lot of recruits from the class of 2023 have started choosing which school they will attend. Want to know how many 2023 commits Syracuse has? Zero. Reading the tea leaves, it would make sense for Boeheim not to try very hard on the recruiting trail if he knew he wasn’t going to be around. Food for thought. He previously stated that he couldn’t have quit this year when incoming recruits expected him to be the coach. Not filling the 2023 class would certainly prevent that problem.
This is all highly speculative, I know. But if Jim Boeheim does conclude his career after the 2022-23 season, remember who got it out there first.
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