Jim Boeheim, Syracuse wants to keep Big East rivalries alive


Jim Boeheim is the Big East. He’s was the Syracuse head coach in 1979 when the conference was formed and through the decades – and 900 victories – he’s been a staple of the Big East. That is until next season, when the Hall of Famer and his Orange join the ACC as part of the destruction of the league.

Syracuse, Pitt, Notre Dame, and Louisville will all join the ACC, while Rutgers heads to the Big Ten. Meanwhile, the seven Catholic schools are ready to jump ship and form a new league, leaving UConn and Cincinnati to try and find new homes.

Despite all the realignment, Boeheim would like to keep at least a fraction of Big East tradition alive. On his weekly radio show on TK99 radio, the Syracuse coach said he would like to keep some of Cuse’s Big East rivalries alive moving forward.

“We are talking to St. John’s, Villanova and Georgetown. We want to play at least two of them a year,” said Boeheim. “We want to get to New York, Philadelphia and Washington. We will try to get to New York as much as possible.”

Boeheim has been vocal about realignment, including a rant following a Nov. 21 win against Princeton about the lack of importance rivalries have:

“Rivalries don’t matter to anyone anymore. If you ask someone at West Virginia if they like going to Texas Tech or Texas and all those places, ask their fans whether they really like that. Maybe they do. I don’t know. I don’t get it. It’s just the way it’s going. There’s nothing you can do about it.

“Like I said, if these guys [conference commissioners] were running the United States in colonial times, Brazil and Argentina would be states because they have something we need. It’s a great country.”

For Boeheim and Syracuse basketball, even an annual game against a rival like a Georgetown – a rivalry that helped build the league to what it once was – could salvage some of the damage football has inflicted on the basketball league.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Boise State loses guard Harwell to torn ACL

Leon Rice
Associated Press
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Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.

Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.

Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.

Knee injury sidelines Illinois forward Leron Black

Josh Hart, Leron Black
Associated Press
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Illinois will be shorthanded in its front court for the time being, as during the team’s media day Thursday head coach John Groce announced that sophomore forward Leron Black is out due to injury.

Black will undergo surgery Friday to repair a meniscus tear in his knee, and he’s expected to miss anywhere from four to six weeks. A return after four weeks would have Black back on the court just before the Fighting Illini open their season November 13 against North Florida. Any longer and the Memphis native would wind up missing some game action.

Black averaged 5.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in just under 15 minutes of action per game as a freshman. He’s one of the players expected to contribute in the front court for the Fighting Illini, who lost their best interior defender and second-leading rebounder in Nnanna Egwu at the end of last season (guard Rayvonte Rice, who led the team in rebounding, is also gone).

In addition to Black and junior Maverick Morgan, Illinois adds redshirt freshman Michael Finke and grad student Mike Thorne Jr. (via Charlotte) to their front court rotation.