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NCAA Basketball Big East BasketballSyracuse Orange

Coach Boeheim Joins Elite Club on Monday Night

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Win number 900 for Jim Boeheim didn’t come without some trepidation. Syracuse beat Detroit 72-68 holding off a furious Titans run of 20-4 to end the game.  The Orange got 22 points from James Southerland.  They will use the time off to fix all that ailed them in the win tonight as next up is a game against Temple at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.  There were a few things that stuck out to me on this night:

1) It is incredible how Boeheim is able to take talented players and make them accept the sixth man role.  The last sixth man was Dion Waiters and he’s now in the NBA.  Southerland has starter’s ability and would be welcome on a ton of rosters across America.  Instead, he’s in New York and helping out in a big way.

2) The run to end the game is concerning.  Sure this team has a lot of blowouts on the docket so far this season, but in a lot of those games are little runs that the opposition makes.  It seems at times that the Orange are dis-interested and the thing that makes this zone so tough is the effort put into it.

3) Another number of interest include the double-double put up by Michael Carter-Williams.  It wasn’t his best offensive night making only one shot in six attempts.  The good thing is that he’s able to create for others even when he is having an off night by himself.

4) The Orange hit 22 of 32 free throws including nine of 10 from the aforementioned Carter-Williams.  Brandon Triche missing four is something to watch for because he’ll be in come crunch time and will be needed to make shots.

5) 900 wins for Jim Boeheim is quite an accomplishment.  The funny thing is if you ask the common college basketball fan who are the top five coaches in America right now, I bet a lot don’t even mention Boeheim.  What he’s been able to do for that school is remarkable.  The fact that he lives and dies with the 2-3 zone is unique even when the fans (like me) grumble about it.  It will be fun to see him go up against the ACC next season.