The # 7 Syracuse Orange kicked off their final Big East Conference schedule tonight with a 78-53 win over Rutgers, earning Head Coach Jim Boeheim his 903rd career victory. With the win Boeheim passes legendary head coach Bob Knight for 2nd place on division one basketball's all-time wins list.
" The story is the players that I've been able to coach ," reflected Boeheim, "t he coaches I've worked with. The coaches we've competed against all these years. So many great coaches, so many great games. It's those games and those battles that I think about. Unfortunately, I think about the losses too much. But someday, I'll maybe get over that when I get really old, which isn't that far away."
"He is one of the greatest coaches of all-time," says Michael Carter-Williams, who earned himself a double-double in win # 903, "so a lot of kids want to come here and play for him and experience his knowledge of the game."
It was a very impressive start to Syracuse's Conference schedule, highlighted by a 21-0 1st half run that took Rutgers out of it after the Scarlett Knight's had taken a 20-18 lead. Brandon Triche led the way with 25 points, while Michael Carter-Williams earned himself yet another double-double with 12 points and 10 assists.
"It starts with our defense," says Triche, "if we are able to rebound the ball, that's big. Either rebound the ball or get steals is going to lead into transition. You got James (Southerland) and you got C.J. (Fair) on the wing running tough, so when they run in the lanes then it allows me to sit on the three-point line or even get in the lanes and get open shots. Michael (Carter-Williams) is doing a great job at finding guys or even creating for himself. If we are able to do that and get easy shots, we'll be fine."
Boeheim is in his 37th season at Syracuse, and now trails only Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, who has 940 victories. Boeheim says he has a lot of respect for Knight as he passes him on the all-time list.
"Well (Knight) is a great coach. I remember watching him. We played against him when I was a young assistant and he's just such a great coach. I mean really, he just coached probably one of the - if not the best, close to the best - team that ever played college basketball. He's always giving a lot to the game."
With the win Syracuse also extended their streak to 33 straight home wins, the longest current streak in the nation.