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NCAA MEN'S 2ND & 3RD ROUNDS: PITTSBURGH


March 15, 2012


Jim Boeheim

Scoop Jardine

Kris Joseph


PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA

Syracuse テや 72
UNC - Asheville テや 65


THE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined by Syracuse.
Coach Boeheim.
COACH BOEHEIM:テつ I think after the last two games, you know, although we have a pretty good zone defense and we play against it every day, we have not been very proficient on offense against the zone defenses, we've seen the last two games, by any stretch of the imagination.
I give Asheville a lot of credit.テつ They're a good team, a very well‑coached team.テつ I thought that they battle hard on everything.テつ I thought in the second half, I asked the two guys sitting next to me to step it up, they both did, and that turned the game around.テつ That was the difference in the ballgame.
We need these two guys if we're going anywhere.テつ They stepped it up big‑time.テつ I thought our two centers did a great job inside.テつ The fact that this game was close had nothing ‑ nothing ‑ to do with the center position.テつ Two or three isolations down there that I would have liked to have had our big guy in there.テつ But this guy had nothing to do with that.
We did not move the ball or attack the zones well.テつ In the second half, these two guys stepped it up.テつ Scoop has taken some criticism for his free‑throw shooting.テつ He made them when they counted.
I give Asheville a tremendous amount of credit.テつ They're a really good basketball team and they played very well today.
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll now take questions for our Syracuse student‑athletes.

Q.テつ Tight game, you miss the first one of a one‑and‑one, the referee brings you back to the line.テつ What are you thinking at that point?
SCOOP JARDINE:テつ Thinking about making a free throw.テつ They gave me a second chance to make the shot and I made it.テつ I got myself into a rhythm.テつ I made every free throw from there on out because I do what I practice and believed in myself at that time and made the shots for us.

Q.テつ Kris, no 16 team has ever beaten a 1 seed.テつ This game is close, getting down to the end.テつ Were you nervous you were about to make history?
KRIS JOSEPH:テつ No, not at all.テつ We've been in situations before like this all season.テつ I think being part of those games early on in the season, in the Big East, prepped us for this game.テつ We stayed poised and handled our business.

Q.テつ Scoop, what did you have to say to your teammates at halftime down four?
SCOOP JARDINE:テつ Nothing.テつ Coach said a lot to me and Kris (laughter).
Called our number once again.テつ It starts with us.テつ We have to be aggressive ‑ not only scoring, but make yourself available, assert yourself on the offensive end.テつ That's what we done.テつ We didn't shoot the ball too good from the field, but we was aggressive.テつ That's where the action was, that's what we did today, and that's why I think we got the win.

Q.テつ Scoop, you like to trap a lot on the perimeter.テつ They seemed to stay away from those situations.テつ How did they avoid those situations?
SCOOP JARDINE:テつ Like coach said, they're a well‑coached team.テつ As a 16 seed, pretty tough.テつ They made shots early, got some confidence.テつ They were shooting from anywhere.テつ When you get a team like that, we just have to believe in our zone, believe in ourselves.テつ That's what we done and we've been doing all year.テつ We got the win because we know that if we get the team to believe in our zone, they was going to miss shots.テつ That's what they did.テつ We were able to get in transition in the second half, opened up the game a little bit.
We didn't trap them as much, but we got to the shooters in time and made their shots tough in the second half.テつ That's why we won the game.

Q.テつ Both the coach and the players on Asheville acknowledged that you guys were the better team, but they said the better team didn't win tonight.テつ What do you think?
COACH BOEHEIM:テつ That's why they make scoreboards.テつ No, I answered it for them.
SCOOP JARDINE:テつ He answered it (laughter).
KRIS JOSEPH:テつ Retweet (smiling).
COACH BOEHEIM:テつ First of all, all the noise about the ball going out of bounds, I mean, Triche got pushed.テつ That's why it went out of bounds.テつ Maybe they missed the out of bounds, they missed the foul call.テつ Those things equal out.

Q.テつ Percentage‑wise how much better do you have to be against K State to advance to the Sweet 16?テつ 20%?テつ 15%?
SCOOP JARDINE:テつ We just have to go out and play.
COACH BOEHEIM:テつ 16.5%.
SCOOP JARDINE:テつ There you go.
We have to go out and play, no matter what it is.テつ K State a good team, definitely a good defensive team.テつ But I think we need to see a little bit of man‑to‑man.テつ I think that's what they play.テつ We should be fine.
KRIS JOSEPH:テつ Same.テつ We just got to go out there, play our style of basketball.テつ Kansas State is going to play us tough and we're going to be ready for it.テつ They're a great defensive team, well‑coached.テつ But we're well‑coached as well.テつ We be ready for whatever they bring our way.

Q.テつ Can you talk about the boost that James gave you three‑point shooting‑wise?テつ Do you think he has to continue that in order for you to make a good run?
SCOOP JARDINE:テつ He capable of doing it.テつ James played great in the Big East tournament, carried over to today.テつ He's our glue guard, a guy that can really stretch the defense and make some shots where teams have to really pay attention to where he's at on the floor at all times.テつ It opens the floor for guys like myself and Kris Joseph drive the lane.
James has to continue to make the shots and I think he will.テつ I'm happy for him because he's a big part of our offense and today he showed it.

Q.テつ Scoop, I know coach said that Melo didn't make a difference that he wasn't here.テつ Do you agree with that?テつ Do you feel like you played any differently today than you would have?
SCOOP JARDINE:テつ I agree with coach.
COACH BOEHEIM:テつ He's not stupid, you know (smiling).
SCOOP JARDINE:テつ Coach said it right.テつ He didn't really.テつ It's about us.テつ We love to have him, but it's about us playing the game.テつ We got a lot of guys that stepped up today.テつ I think Baye and Rakeem did a great job out the presence of Fab.テつ For the most part it is about us and that's all that matter right now.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, gentlemen.テつ We'll continue with questions for Coach Boeheim.

Q.テつ I know what you said in answer to the question earlier about the better team and all that.テつ But do you feel like you were lucky to get out of here with the way Asheville was able to play today?
COACH BOEHEIM:テつ I don't think luck has anything to do with winning games.テつ We had to make some plays.テつ James made a couple big shots.テつ We took control of the game.テつ Wasn't like it came down to the last play.テつ We had control of the game.テつ Had a six‑point lead, seven, eight‑point lead.
No, I don't think luck was involved at all.テつ I think we held a guy that's the Player of the Year in their conference to 1‑13 shooting, 1‑9 from the three‑point line.テつ He was the Player of the Year I believe in their conference.テつ I think that had something to do with the outcome of the game.
We only turned it over nine times.テつ That's pretty good.テつ James came in, gave us a huge lift off the bench.
No, I don't think luck had anything to do with this game today, and I think the better team won.

Q.テつ Your starters were 6‑20 in the first half.テつ Can you elaborate on what you said to Scoop and Kris at the half?
COACH BOEHEIM:テつ We wanted to try to move the ball a little bit better and attack the zone.テつ Scoop did a good job of getting to the lane.テつ Kris got to the basket better.テつ We got to the foul line early.テつ We got in the bonus, they were in the bonus, because we were getting to the basket.テつ I think that was a big part of it.
As we did that, it opened up James for a couple good looks at the three, and we got it back out to him and he knocked them down.
You know, I look back at this game, we're talking about luck.テつ You know, Rock missed a dunk, Kris missed a blank, wide‑open layup that he doesn't usually miss.テつ You know, two or three of those things happened to us.テつ In a close game, those plays are huge.テつ I felt coming in, I felt this was going to be a good game.
Senior team, they were in the tournament last year.テつ They played tough against the best team in our league last year, Pittsburgh.テつ They played them very tough.テつ We knew they were a good team.テつ They're a better team than they were last year.
The first time we played without Fab at Notre Dame, we played our worst game of the year.テつ I think this was our first year, wasn't our worst game of the year, but it wasn't good.テつ I'm hopeful now we've got this game behind us, and we'll be better on Saturday.
Exactly what percentage, I'm not sure.テつ Somewhere between zero and 50, I hope, better.

Q.テつ How impressed were you with Rakeem Christmas stepping in today?
COACH BOEHEIM:テつ Well, I think he's better at center.テつ We know that.テつ But he had a guy in front of him that is a little better than he is.テつ He's much better at the center position.テつ I thought he was good today.テつ I think the experience he had in those games when he started at center helped him.
He's been working hard.テつ He's a hard worker.テつ I thought Baye had a real good effort tonight, as well.テつ We get 10 points out of those two guys, eight rebounds, a couple blocks, you know, that's pretty good.
No matter how this game turned out, this game had nothing to do with that position ‑ nothing.

Q.テつ Dion had almost half your points in the first half, scoring‑wise struggled in the second.テつ Was there an adjustment or was he just missing shots?
COACH BOEHEIM:テつ I don't think he got as many shots.テつ I think he made some plays.テつ I think they were paying attention to him, and that opens up James a little bit.テつ I thought Scoop and Kris were active.テつ We scored 42 points.テつ In the first half when he scored, we scored 30.
We need to get balance in the second half.テつ We had it.テつ He didn't get a lot of opportunities.テつ Off the top of my head, I don't know how many shots he got in the second half.テつ It wasn't many.テつ I remember a jumper, but I don't remember a lot of other shots.テつ I think he pulled something a little bit.テつ I think he was a little bit banged up.
The other guys were making the plays; they made things happen.

Q.テつ Can you talk about what it's like to play as the 1 seed against the 16 when the crowd seems to get into it?
COACH BOEHEIM:テつ That always happens.テつ If you're a high seed, the crowd gets going, the crowd is always going to switch to them.テつ We lost one road game this year.テつ We've been in some really noisy places when the crowd has not been with us.
We've been in those games.テつ We were in that game tonight.テつ You know, it's not something that we haven't been able to handle, and we handled it tonight.

Q.テつ Jim, could you give me sort of your overview, how you feel about your team right now, given the personnel, but the performances you've had the last couple of weeks.
COACH BOEHEIM:テつ I think I said in the beginning that we have not played well ‑ certainly not against Cincinnati.テつ They played us all zone.テつ Tonight was mostly all zone.テつ When they switched to man‑to‑man, that's when we got the three‑point play, got another drive in there and scored.
We haven't attacked zones even though we play it and work against it every day.テつ Another reason is we haven't shot the ball very well.テつ 1‑13 in the first half.テつ All good looks.テつ If you go back early in the year, Providence played us zone.テつ I think we were 10‑16.テつ North Carolina State, 10‑16 from the three.テつ When you make those shots against zones, it's a different world, it's a different world.テつ I mean, they did a good job.テつ 9‑23, that's better than most teams shoot against us, much better.
But, you know, I was reading the scouting report before the game, which I hate to do because sometimes I see something that turns out.テつ Lane has not missed a three‑point shot.テつ He missed seven in a row.テつ That's good.テつ That's a good thing.テつ He goes up for his first one, makes it, makes another one, makes another one.テつ He goes 3‑3.テつ Dickey, in reading the scouting report, makes key ones.テつ He makes one ‑‑ I think he made his first, too.テつ Maybe not.
But, anyway...
As far as my team, you know, I know we'll play better against Kansas State.テつ You know, but we haven't played well in the last two games.テつ I think part of it is the way we've attacked the zone defenses that we've seen.テつ Maybe they'll play zone, too.テつ Maybe we'll get better at it.

Q.テつ I've gotten the sense, talking with people around your team, it's kind of been an us‑against‑the‑world mentality this year.
COACH BOEHEIM:テつ I don't think it's the whole world.テつ Three‑quarters maybe.テつ I think there's some people in China that aren't upset with us.

Q.テつ Is there any sense today when that crowd starts pulling for Asheville...
COACH BOEHEIM:テつ No.テつ That happens.テつ I told the players that happens.テつ They want that upset.テつ They want that upset.
I would like to address a couple things.テつ Are we done with questions?
It appeared today in the paper in USA Today.テつ I think people need to get better information.テつ Syracuse would be eligible to play in the tournament this year.テつ We are qualified.テつ We are over .930.テつ Under this year's rules or last year's rules, we would be eligible to play in the tournament.テつ Where they got those statistics, they're a year old.テつ Even though they haven't released this year's statistics, they're done.テつ We are eligible.
If they would have called us, we could have told them that.テつ We would be fully eligible to play in the tournament this year.
The other thing, I'm not going‑‑ I think everybody knows who the secretary of education was talking about, I don't know.テつ Is there anybody here who didn't know who he was talking about?
First of all, let's go back in time.テつ The APR was discussed in a meeting I had with two other coaches and Dr. Myles Brand, when he took over as president of the NCAA, we talked about a one‑year picture to see how kids were doing.テつ That was the first time I had heard about it and the first time it was discussed.
Dr.Brand went ahead and pushed through the APR, which I'm fully supportive and have been of the APR in its entirety, in the concept.テつ As far as graduating people, Scoop is graduating, Kris is on schedule, we graduated one senior.テつ We had one senior last year, he graduated.テつ Two years ago we had two seniors, they graduated.テつ So we want to graduate our players.
But I was in that conference when we were talking about the APR.テつ When there was some issues about the APR, they formed committees.テつ I was on the committee to fine tune the APR.テつ It was fine‑tuned.テつ I was on a committee with President Harrison from Hartford.テつ We had long discussions.
At the end of the day what I said, I did say, This is nuts.テつ It was one piece or really two pieces of the APR that I think are nuts.テつ I want to make sure he did get that right.テつ I did say that, but it was taken out of context.
What I said was, If you have a transfer who is eligible, and he leaves to go to another school because he's not playing, you lose a point, you lose a point.テつ Every coach I know in the country is against that.テつ Bo Ryan is the most outspoken about it.
But we just don't think it makes sense to penalize a school and a program when a guy is not playing and thinks he can play someplace else.テつ I think that's nuts.
The second thing, and I'll try to make this as simple as I can.テつ The APR is a pretty simple thing.テつ To just make it as simple as possible, what I think is nuts about it, if you have 10 players on scholarship, you get two points the first semester, two points the second semester for each guy if they make their progress, that's 40 points for the year.テつ It's not difficult.テつ If they all stay in school, you get 40 points.
The problem I have with it, after your last game, two players come to you out of those 10 and say, Coach, we're signing with an agent, we're going.テつ I had this discussion with President Harrison.テつ We went over it.テつ He had sympathy for it.テつ He didn't agree with me.テつ We agreed to disagree.
What happens, if those two guys sign with an agent and leave, 'cause the agent says, We got to go to Chicago and workout, those two guys leave and they're ineligible because they don't finish the semester, you lose two points for each guy.テつ That means of your 10 players, the other eight can be A students.テつ You know what your APR is?テつ 36 out of 40 points‑ I figured this out ahead of time‑ .90.テつ That school is ineligible for the tournament.
When these APR rules were put in, if you were that 9‑0, there was a punishment, but you had an opportunity to work it back up.
Now they've changed the penalty and made it you're out of the tournament.テつ To me that's not right because that guy that leaves with eight weeks to go, the university and the head coach have no control over what he's doing.テつ I really think, although in self‑interest I try to talk the guy into staying and finishing his schoolwork, but if he thinks he can go to Chicago and workout with pro players, with a workout coach, work to get better for the draft, who am I to say, You can't do that, you got to help us?
We've had players that have stayed, but some players have decided to go.テつ My example is not just thrown out of the woodwork.テつ We had three guys leave one year.テつ That's why we fell below the .930 for one year.テつ We made it up with two perfect scores.テつ But that low score stays with us for four years.
But the point is, you can have two guys, and they can be first‑round picks, and they're not going to be punished.テつ The school the players left behind are going to be punished.テつ I think that's nuts.テつ I don't think academics, graduation, APR, I don't think that's nuts.テつ I think that part of it is.
I've said it, I'll say it again.テつ If somebody wants to talk about it, I'll be happy to talk about it.テつ We had this debate.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, coach.
COACH BOEHEIM:テつ I'm not done.
So when people call you out, you would think it would be nice to at least try to get the whole thing in context of what I said.
Our APR is above what it needs to be to be eligible to play in this tournament this year.テつ I'm a full supporter of it.テつ I helped implement the APR and I helped revise it on the committee that worked on it.
I do think part of it doesn't work.テつ Part of it doesn't work.テつ You have no control as a program and a coach if a kid comes to you and says, I'm going, coach, I need to go and get ready.
I don't think Harvard was punished when Bill Gates left early.テつ I don't think they were.テつ I don't think he did too badly.テつ We've also had five or six guys who left early, went to the NBA, played, and came back and graduated.テつ We helped them graduate.テつ We have two or three right now that are very close to graduating who are done playing with their NBA careers.
So education is paramount to me.テつ We want every guy to graduate, and we work very hard on that.テつ So I think it's fair to say that I'm upset right now.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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