Jim Boeheim

Jim Boeheim, Syracuse open to playing UConn in the future

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HARTFORD, Conn. — For the final time as Big East opponents, Syracuse and UConn shared the floor on Wednesday night in the XL Center in Hartford. The Huskies upset the sixth-ranked Orange, 66-58 to end the series for now.

However, following the loss Jim Boeheim — after one of the more bizarre press conference moments — told reporters he is open to extending the rivalry outside the Big East Conference.

“We’re open to playing anybody,” said Boeheim.

“It’s been a great series. I think Connecticut and Syracuse have had so many great games over the years. It’s one of those things that goes away and that’s the way it is. The league wasn’t able to be kept together. I feel bad about the whole thing.”

In December, Boeheim mentioned that Syracuse was in talks with Georgetown, St. John’s and Villanova, in hopes of keeping matchups with those teams, all of which play in major cities, alive after this season. Cuse and St. John’s have already agreed to play through 2015.

Regardless of if the Syracuse-UConn series is continued past this season, that last true form of the rivalry was played Wednesday night.

“Your biggest rivalries are going to be against the teams in your league,” said Boeheim.

Boeheim cited two examples: St. Bonaventure and Louisville. Before the Big East was formed, St. Bonaventure was the biggest game of the year, now the Orange and Bonnies have gone years without playing one another. He went on to mention Louisville as a new rival, since the Cardinals joined the league in 2005.

“Even if you play somebody it will never be the same,” said Boeheim.

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

Louisville’s Rick Pitino on allegations: ‘We will get through this’

Rick Pitino
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville coach Rick Pitino remains defiant that his program will survive the allegations in a book by an escort alleging that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.

Pitino said Tuesday that the Cardinals “will get through this the right way.”

The coach told a packed room at a tipoff luncheon that he understands the motivation behind Katina Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” but questions the need for the alleged activities given the talent his program has produced.

Pitino added, “We will find out the truth, whatever it may be, and those responsible will pay the price.”

Georgia Tech lands Class of 2016 guard

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Georgia Tech picked up its third Class of 2016 commitment on Tuesday as the Yellow Jackets landed a pledged from three-star guard Josh Okogie.

The 6-foot-4 guard is considered the No. 143 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016 rankings and Okogie played with a very talented Team CP3 in the Nike EYBL. In 22 games this spring and summer, Okogie averaged 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.

Okogie joins three-star wing Christian Matthews and four-star big man Romello White in head coach Brian Gregory’s Class of 2016 at Georgia Tech. The group is definitely a solid influx of talent with some coming from successful grassroots programs.