Blum: Jim Boeheim contradicts himself regarding Syracuse’s lack of depth

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ In venting his frustrations with a lackluster Syracuse performance, he did exactly the deed that he criticizes others for doing to his team. He said time after time that playing six or seven guys didn’t impact his team, which had won 8-of-9 going into Wednesday, and then said he wished there was someone who could have replaced Roberson. He’s said that college students can play 40 minutes without a problem, then said “four games in a row and starting, I don’t know exactly the days, 10 days, it’s right in that area, I think it’s hard to do.” The short rotation never mattered until it did.Boeheim says one thing when his team is doing well, and conveniently changes his tune when SU’s fortune turns, though he has said an eighth player in the rotation would be ideal, but isn’t necessary. One day having seven rotation players is “more than enough.” Then when asked about the rotation on Monday afternoon, he said “I don’t say it’s OK. I say it’s all we have.”It’s easy to nitpick words, especially someone that’s publicly asked so many questions with so many recorders and cameras there to catch every mistake. And it’s understandable that a coach changes his rhetoric after a loss. But these aren’t mistakes. These contradictions show an attitude that Boeheim says what makes sense in the moment. They show Boeheim doesn’t acknowledge deficiencies of his team unless a loss forces him to. Daily Orange File Photo Related Stories Jim Boeheim postgame press conference: ‘If I had anybody else, (Tyler Roberson) wouldn’t play a minute. Not a minute.’ It’s been 12 days since Jim Boeheim stood in front of a press room following a home win over Florida State. That night, he went out of his way to say that having six or seven players is “more than enough guys.” Duke’s working with that number, he said. So is Oklahoma.It’s been 22 days since he said on the Atlantic Coast Conference coaches teleconference that having more than seven rotation players is “overstated.” If you don’t have anyone hurt, he said, it isn’t a problem.It’s been 98 days since Boeheim answered a question about Dajuan Coleman’s minutes after a win over St. Bonaventure by saying that it doesn’t matter who plays and for how long. “I’m here to win,” he said. “I don’t give a sh*t who plays.”It’s been 130 days since Boeheim boasted that players playing more than 38 minutes consistently “is not a big issue” at the team’s Media Day in October.The fact that Syracuse plays the second-tightest rotation in college basketball, per Kenpom.com, doesn’t concern Boeheim. The fact that everyone in the rotation has to play every day and the fact that Michael Gbinije and Trevor Cooney play 92 percent of the team’s minutes this season serve to create questions for the head coach to shoot down.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“They only bring up the minutes played here, when we lose,” Boeheim said in October. “They don’t bring it up when we win.”On Saturday, after SU’s second straight loss, Boeheim directly contradicted every point regarding depth that he’s made this season. He told the media that if he had anyone else Tyler Roberson wouldn’t have played a minute. He told the media that “when you’re playing a lot of minutes, you’re going to wear down a little bit.” Published on February 22, 2016 at 10:19 pm Syracuse’s bench minutes rank second-to-last in college basketball. Fewer than No. 15 Duke. Fewer than No. 3 Oklahoma. Amid success, players going for 38 minutes or more doesn’t make them tired. Amid success, seven-player rotations are good enough for long-term postseason success.Seven players gets Syracuse wins when seven players play well. Players staying on the court for 38 minutes doesn’t matter, unless the Orange has four games in 10 days.This isn’t to say that Syracuse can or can’t win with the way Boeheim limits his rotation — SU can beat the best and lose to the worst. It’s to say that his explanations on the subject lose credibility when they fit the narrative of how well the team is playing in the moment.“I think if somebody doesn’t play well, it’s up to the coach to get them to play somebody else,” Boeheim said. “… That’s the truth. You tell the truth, people don’t like it I guess.”It’s not that people don’t like the truth. It’s that they don’t know what it is.Sam Blum is a Senior Staff Writer at The Daily Orange, where his column appears occasionally. He can be reached at [email protected] or @SamBlum3. Commentslast_img

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