Though Lobshots is a SoCal-centric sports blog, sometimes a compelling story allows for geographic expansion. In this case… expansion to a cold, drab city 3000 miles east northeast of San Diego, where personal character is hardened and purified by long cold snowy winters and huge stretches of sunless summer days. Yes, lobsters, it’s Syracuse, NY. Despite all the lack of “cooperating” “weather”… chances are our basketball team can beat up your basketball team.
Jim Boeheim won his 900th career game as a D-1 head coach last night, putting him in the thinly-oxygenated stratosphere of coaching legendry. The General? Coach K? Heard of ‘em? Yeah, they’re there. Who else? I’ll spare you the friggin Google search… THAT’S IT. Those 3. Does that 900th win, along with his 9 Big East regular season titles, 5 Big East tournament titles, 3 NCAA finals appearances, a 2003 national title, and 2 Olympic gold medals carve Boeheim’s face in the Mount Rushmore of college basketball? An argument could be made. But, more importantly… all those wins… every single blow-out and last second victory… were at The Cuse. The most of any D-1 coach at one school. In an era where loyalty increasingly follows the dollar sign, where the dollars are just so SO green on the other side… Boeheim’s always been orange. From when he strapped on his Converse for Syracuse nearly 50yrs ago… til yesterday’s 900th victory as head coach… Orange. Respect.
One more discussion point about Boeheim’s longevity … the mystique of his defense, the 2-3 zone. It’s too simple, right? Sure, it’s simple. Yet, it’s been so effective, despite its well document weaknesses, for so long… some think that Jimmy B invented the 2-3. Well, of course he did not. But he has refined it. He knows the players it takes to run it. And 900 wins later it continues to stifle opposing players and frustrate opposing coaches.
Content with 6 months of snow, Hofmann hot dogs, his amazing wife (Juli) and family, and watching late-night Golf Channel, Boeheim is [and will always be] at home in Central New York. I’ve got nothing but radiant pride having grown up in Syracuse, following this man and his team… our team, Syracuse. Congrats, Jimmy.
-the caster brothers