Syracuse Orange is 1-0 after a 90-72 opening night win over Lehigh. After the game, head coach Jim Boeheim and several of his players shared their thoughts on the win:
- On former Syracuse Athletic director Jake Crouthamel, who passed away yesterday before the game: “I don’t think people realize what a central figure he has been in Syracuse Athletics history. Making the change at the Dome, getting into the Big East Conference, that was his goal.”
- “Chris (Bell) has to be able to catch loose balls. If he doesn’t, then he won’t play.” For what it’s worth, he turned around later in the conference and called him the best pitcher on the team behind Joe.
- He noticed Mounir Hima’s two great blocks that led to great scoring opportunities.
- Although Judah Mintz was very good and played under control.
- “We have a lot of work to do. This is pretty normal for freshmen.”
- On earning his 1,100th career win: “This is the last time I talk about it. This is our first victory. We’re 1-0, and that’s the only thing I’m worried about this whole year.” (So… I think asking him about winning 1,000 games twice after the next one is a bad idea.)
- On Jesse Edwards: “He was very active tonight. I think he can only get better.”
- In the offensive game plan this season. “We don’t intend to take too many balls out of three… We can score from the inside; we can get to the lane and get to the foul line.”
- On Judah: “What he did tonight at the midpoints… that’s what we want from him. I’m definitely not going to tell him to stop (shoot) because he’s been doing that shot consistently.”
- There are “small mistakes” that Orange made both in defending the man and the zone.
- Jesse driving to the edge and profiting early on opened up opportunities for him and Judah.
- Symir’s entry gave him the chance to play without the ball and briefly restart the attack.
- “If you go in, you’re going to get fouled, so free throws are always a point of emphasis.”
- On the Dome crowd: “Loved it…I can’t wait to play more games here. It was everything I dreamed of.”
- Playing with Jesse and Joe simplifies the game. “You can’t get off Joe and you can’t leave Jesse.”
- Having three years of experience playing with Joe makes it easy to improvise with him in the moment.
- On showing some emotion after his three first-half dunks: “When I get some good ones like this, I get excited really fast. That was so much fun.”
- On Mounir Hima: “It’s always hard to get off the bench. Especially in your first game, you’re a little nervous. But he did a great job. He got a few blocks there and got his first points.”
- On playing man-to-man defense: “I think we did a good job closing your main routes to the basket.”
- “Anything I can do to grow the team and win is exactly what I want to do. If it’s passing by and showing my vision, I’m the man. Or I have to be there guarding their tallest player, I will do that.”
- I thought it was “amazing” to put all the competitiveness into practice and apply it to a real opponent.
- On the atmosphere of the Dome: “Amazing. It was a great setting, and I can’t wait to see the crowd get bigger and bigger throughout the year.”