Syracuse has lost two in a row and three of its past five games. So coach Jim Boeheim's postgame press conference at Marquette on Monday night figured to be interesting.
The Orange lost a close one 74-71 and allowed Davante Gardner to score a career-best 26 points. Sure enough, Boeheim bristled at questions about his coaching decisions, including whether he considered using DaJuan Coleman to slow down Gardner.
“Our two best defensive players were in the game,” Boeheim said, adding moments later. “...You should try coaching. That’s what you think you are, so maybe you should try that.”
While Boeheim showed contempt for some of the questions he was asked through the answers he gave, this shouldn't be misconstrued as some kind of Bob Knight-like meltdown on his part. He answered a variety of questions about the game and about making a final visit to Marquette. The press conference last nearly 10 minutes.
Boeheim disagreed with one reporters assertion that the Orange, at times, look like they're lacking leadership. Boeheim gave his players credit for playing hard and fighting through various bouts with adversity during the course of the season and said he is “thrilled” by having 22 wins (22-6, 10-5) at this point after losing so many key contributors from last season's team.
But he just couldn't help himself and took multiple opportunities to lash out at his questioners.
“Any more coaches here?” Boeheim asked at one point shortly after the leadership question. “Want to ask another coaching question? I’d be happy to take it. I’ve only been doing this 37 years, I’m sure you’ve got more ideas of who we should play or we shouldn’t play or who should lead? What do I know?”
This was the second time this month Boeheim has attracted attention for the way he has decided to interact with reporters after a game. But it's nothing new to anyone who has covered or followed his program over the years. Two weeks ago following a loss at Connecticut, Boeheim refused to answer a run-of-the-mill question from ESPN reporter Andy Katz about the rivalry with the Huskies. Boeheim called Katz 'an idiot' and 'a disloyal person.'
Boeheim ended his press conference Monday at Marquette this way: “More ideas for me guys? I think you ought to know by now you start asking me those questions, I just laugh at you. That's all I'll do. Go get your Pulitzer some place else.”
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