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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Boston College vs Syracuse

The Syracuse Orange defeated the Boston College Eagles 84–71 on March 3. It is always a big deal when an elite college basketball program comes to Boston. Syracuse has been in two Final Fours in the last seven seasons, 2013 and 2016. Jim Boeheim is a hall of fame coach who has won a National Championship in 2003 and been the Head Coach at Syracuse since 1976. He is 75 years old, but he has no set retirement date. Buddy Boeheim, Jim’s son, is a star player on the Orange and will graduate in 2022. Once he graduates, his father will likely retire. 

The score of this game is misleading, but it just shows what the power of the three point shot does. Syracuse was up 72–48 with 5:36 remaining. The game was never close, but BC scored 23 points in the final five minutes. It was a miracle win for fans because they scored 70 points, meaning free tacos. It is rare to shoot 19–42 from three and lose by double digits. Syracuse plays a zone defense, daring teams to shoot from outside. From two, BC shot 6–16. Even worse, BC shot 2–10 from the foul line. Syracuse did nothing that jumped out on the stat sheet, they just made a whole bunch more baskets than BC. Winning 21–2 at the free throw line was the difference in the game. 

Syracuse has certainly lost their elite status as a program this season. There is a fifty-fifty chance they make the NCAA Tournament, having a 17–13 record. They have very loyal fans, who travel extremely well across the country. When Duke played at Syracuse, they got 31k fans at home. Elijah Hughes will likely make the NBA, but there are no surefire first round picks on Syracuse. Boeheim and Hughes are the only Syracuse players that make a huge impact when it comes to scoring the basketball. Syracuse has been unlucky though, Tyus Battle was a star player for Syracuse last season, but left school early and was undrafted. He is playing in the G-League now, which is like minor league basketball. There are lots of players in college basketball who are undrafted despite leaving school early. In college football, most players stay all four years. The Ivy League is the only league consistently that has players stay four years. 233 players in college basketball entered the NBA Draft in 2019 who did not finish college. One of the changes that has been made is that players can go through the draft process, workout with teams, and go back to school. However, there is a deadline to decide, either hire an agent or go back to school by May 30, three weeks before the draft. The best thing would be for players to be able to go back to school after being undrafted. 

For Boston College, they will likely have a major overhaul. Jim Christian, the basketball coach, will likely be terminated. The season ends on March 11, so expect to see a change shortly after that date. In six seasons, his record is 75–116. His best season was 19–16 and a trip to the NIT. BC will be looking for a new coach in all likelihood, barring a major surprise. Jeff Goodman, an ESPN writer wrote that BC is leaning toward making a change. He also listed possible candidates, although that would be swinging for the fences. The last time BC made a coaching change in basketball, the timing was awful because two other ACC jobs opened up before BC made their move. 

The two other ACC schools hired a coach who led them to the Tournament. Jeff Goodman listed candidates, some of them seem unrealistic but would bring BC basketball instant credibility and would create a buzz around the city. John Thompson III, former Georgetown coach who led them to Final 4 in 2007, but has been out of coaching three years is a possibility. Kevin Willard, the current coach of 8th ranked Seton Hall is also a possibility. His father coached at Holy Cross. Seton Hall is in a lesser conference, plus Newark, NJ is where they play their games, one of the worst places in the country. An ACC job is very desirable for any coach looking for a job. The last time an ACC job opened was in 2018. 

Goodman wrote, “Your guess is as good as mine regarding who’s next at BC, but you’re gonna have to get some real money together and show that you’re invested in the program to even get one of those guys to listen.” If it’s not a home run hire, the perfect choice would be Bill Coen at Northeastern. He has led Northeastern to two NCAA Tournaments in the last five seasons. More importantly, he was an assistant at BC from 1997-2006, when BC was a premier program in the country, making the Sweet 16 in 2006. They were good enough to win a National Championship during those years, they were ranked as high as number three in the country. There will be a lot of interest in the job, it is very unclear what the mutual interest is between the candidates and the school. It is possible that the school does not want to open up the checkbook too much. It won’t be overly expensive to hire a coach who is winning at a mid major school. The only chance that a coach without head coaching experience could be hired is hiring an assistant from a big program such as Duke. The football team hired a coach without head coaching experience, but was the defensive coordinator at Ohio State last season.