Jim Boeheim critical of NBA G-League during NCAA Tournament press conference
Jim Boeheim left no doubt about it during a press conference at the NCAA Tournament.
His comments about the NBA G-League and its viability as a better option over college basketball were more than likely passed off as a typical Boeheim response in front of the national media.
But now, his comments hold a great deal of weight.
The tables have turned, as his top prospect in over a decade, Darius Bazley, spurned the Orange in favor of the NBA G-League.
"This whole thing about -- oh yeah, let's get them in the G-League," Boeheim said with a sense of sarcasm. "Have you ever been in the G-League? Have you ever gone to a G-League game? Have you ever lived where those guys live? They're adults; 23, 24-year old guys. And now you're going to put 17-year old guys in there?
"You've got to be crazy," he added.
It might be crazy, but at the end of the day, it's Darius Bazley's life. Whether it's the correct or incorrect decision -- none of that matters.
Bazley was the No. 9 rated prospect in the country, a McDonald's All-American and committed to Syracuse since June of 2017.
The Cincinnati, Ohio native even signed with the Orange during the early signing period in November.
It seemed as though he would be a lock to join Syracuse, until his tweet was sent out Thursday.
The 6-foot-9 forward was said to be tailor-made for Jim Boeheim's 2-3 zone, which is something Bazley discussed with Adam Zagoria as recently as the McDonald's All-American game -- the night prior to his tweet to turn pro.
Zagoria, the editor of 'Zagsblog', anonline source of national high school basketball recruiting news, published a story of his conversation with Bazley during the national showcase in Atlanta.
Boeheim continued on his rant during a press conference in Detroit, previewing TCU in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament from Little Caesars Arena.
"Just think of this year's freshmen class," Boeheim continued. "Who would've come out? Who would've come out this year? Who would not have gone to the NBA? Trae Young? He didn't hardly play on the USA team last summer. He's going to be a top 10 pick [now]. Why? Why's he going to be a top 10 pick? Only one reason -- he came to college.
"Just look at Trae Young, for example," Boeheim added. "He would've been playing in Idaho some place this year riding the bus."
The hall-of-fame coach has a point. There's a reason nobody has ever done this before -- mainly because players who suit up in the NBA G-League live a less-than-stellar life, making a meager salary of [at least] $26,000.
On the flipside, playing in front of sold out crowds and having full access to top notch facilities while also being placed on a platform to be seen on national televsion night-in and night-out are a few of the perks that come with Division-I men's college basketball.
At the end of the day, Boeheim's rant means nothing in terms of Bazley's future. The young man made a decision and he's sticking to it, but Syracuse's coach made sure everyone knew his stance loud and clear.
"If I have a son I want him to go to college," Boeheim articulated. "Even if he's a great player -- go to college for a year or two. It does not hurt you to go to college. It only helps you."
Bazley's last-minute decision puts Syracuse in a tough place, having to now fill an open scholarship in a quick time frame.
However, Bazley's not worried about that. Rather, he's focused on perhaps blazing a new trail for top high school players to bypass the college game completely.
Time will tell if it just so happens to work out.