Jim Boeheim

Jim Boeheim to reporters: “Go get your Pulitzer someplace else”

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Jim Boeheim seems super-grumpy these days, even for the nation’s most curmudgeonly head coach.

Two weeks ago, Boeheim snapped at ESPN.com’s Andy Katz in a press conference, calling him an “idiot” and “disloyal” and refusing to answer any questions from the most well-recognized college hoops reporter in the country. Last week, he neglected to give any credit to Vincent Council, the Providence point guard that set the Big East’s career-assist record against his team in a 25 point loss.

And after Syracuse blew a double-digit first half lead in a loss at Marquette last night, the 68-year old Boeheim’s emotions boiled over once again.

(CLICK HERE to listen to the entirety of Boeheim’s nine-minute press conference)

It started when Boeheim was asked a question about the 26 points that Davante Gardner score and whether or not burly freshman DaJuan Coleman could have helped slow him down.

His response?

“Our two best defensive players were in the game,” Boeheim said before pausing for about ten seconds and following up that statement. “But you should try coaching maybe. Let’s see what you think you are. So maybe you should try that.”

After a couple more questions, CBSSports.com’s Jeff Goodman asked Boeheim about his team’s leadership and whether or not it’s becoming a problem:

“We’re the same team we’ve been all year. I don’t even understand that. You think because you come to Marquette and lose by two or three points you need a new guy? I don’t.”

It’s something you said earlier in the year, you were able to get away without it.

“I don’t think I said that. ”

You don’t need a killer type guy? A leader? It just doesn’t seem like anybody’s talking.

“It may seem like that to you.”

To his credit, Boeheim did eventually respond to that question, saying that, more or less, the issues that Syracuse has right now has to do with their ability to shoot the ball, the zone defenses that they have been facing of late, bad turnovers at inopportune times and a lack of offensive rebounding.

While that seemed like classic Boeheim, he once again saved his best for the end.

“Any more coaches here?” Boeheim said with a chuckle. “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?”

After preaching about how the Big East should have taken the TV deal back in 2011 that would have netted each school in the conference $17 million, Boeheim closed with this:

“I think you oughta know by now, you start asking me those questions, I just laugh at you. that’s all I do.”

“Go get your Pulitzer someplace else.”

Some in the media hate Boeheim when he goes on the rants, but I love it. He’s not a machine; he’s human. He’s frustrated and emotional about a loss and he doesn’t have the time to be answering these inane questions about his ability to coach.

In a day and age where everyone is so concerned about their public image and being politically correct, it’s fun to see a coach that’s not afraid of snapping back at a question he doesn’t like from a reporter.

Just as long as I’m not on the wrong end of one of his verbal tail-whippings.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Villanova beats Duke, Kansas, Indiana for Jermaine Samuels

Atlanta, GA - MAY 27: Nike EYBL. Session 4. Jermaine Samuels, Jr. #23 of Expressions Elite dunks. (Photo by Jon Lopez)
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Villanova landed a commitment from top 50 prospect Jermaine Samuels on Saturday.

Samuels is a tough and athletic 6-foot-5 wing that will remind many Wildcat fans of Josh Hart. He’s got the same kind of versatility and nose for the ball that will let him guard perimeter players as well as work in as a small-ball four. Players like this are a specialty of Jay Wright.

Samuels picked up an offer from Duke recently and also had Indiana, Kansas and Georgetown in his top five. Beating out blue-bloods for a prospect like this is quite the statement for Villanova, one that should tell you the reigning national champs are here to stay as a national power.

Syracuse lands critical piece in Andrew White

LINCOLN, NE - FEBRUARY 3: Andrew White #3 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers shoots the ball over Rasheed Sulaimon #0 of the Maryland Terrapins during their game at Pinnacle Bank Arena on February 3, 2016 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
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Syracuse has found their replacement for Malachi Richardson.

On Sunday, Nebraska transfer Andrew White committed to the Orange, picking Syracuse, in the end, over VCU. White is a graduate transfer who spent last season with Nebraska, where he averaged 16.2 points while shooting 41.2 percent from three. A top 50 prospect out of Virginia back in the Class of 2012, White played a limited role for Kansas his first two seasons in college.

This is a significant pickup for the Orange, one that legitimately puts them into the conversation as a Final Four contender and a threat to finish at or near the top of the ACC. Jim Boeheim has put together a roster full of talented, long and athletic front court players, but after Richardson declared for the NBA Draft as a one-and-done freshman, he was left with just two back court players on his roster.

Earlier this offseason, Cuse landed Colorado State grad transfer John Gillon, a 6-foot-1 combo-guard, to reinforce their back court. The addition of White gives them a lights-out shooter and a big-time scorer on the wing, something that would have been a major void on their roster.

With Paschal Chukwu getting eligible at the center spot and Tyler Lydon likely landing on every breakout player list this preseason, the Orange should be a markedly better team than the one that made their way to the Final Four last season.

Arizona lands first commitment in 2017 class

Alex Barcello (Jon Lopez/Nike)
(Jon Lopez/Nike)
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Arizona landed their first commitment in the Class of 2017 on Friday night as point guard Alex Barcello pledged to Sean Miller and the Wildcats.

Barcello is a 6-foot-2 point guard from Tempe who plays his high school ball for Corona del Sol. He committed to the Wildcats on an official visit to the Tucson campus.

Barcello is a borderline top 100 prospect who sits at No. 123 in the Rivals top 150. He’s known for his ability to shoot, and he’s more of a combo-guard — i.e. shoot-first — than a point guard at times, but he’s a nice pickup and projects as a solid four-year player for the Wildcats.

Virginia, Indiana, Stanford and Butler were the other four schools on Barcello’s list.

Duke lands first commitment in 2017 class

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Alex O’Connell knew exactly where he wanted to play his college ball, which is why, just two days after picking up an offer from Coach K and the Blue Devils, he became Duke’s first recruit in the Class of 2017.

O’Connell announced the on twitter on Friday afternoon:

O’Connell is a four-star prospect from Georgia that had a terrific summer, going from being a borderline top 75 prospect to a player that caught the interest of Duke, who, along with Kentucky, sit atop the college recruiting hierarchy. He’s an explosively athletic and lanky 6-foot-6 wing with three-point range on his jumper. He needs to add some weight and some strength — he’s listed as a crisp 175 pounds — but he has the tools, and the swagger, to develop into a very effective player in the ACC.

Is he a one-and-done prospect?

Probably not. In fact, since 2010, Duke has landed just two players that were rated lower than O’Connell: Antonio Vrankovic and Jack White. If you know who both of them are, you’re probably either Jon Scheyer or lying.

But what O’Connell is is a kid who put in the work to get better this past year and who has the skill set, the physical tools and work ethic to continue to improve. He may not be on Grayson Allen’s trajectory, but O’Connell has the makings of being an impact player for the Blue Devils for three or four years.

Alex O'Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)
Alex O’Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)

Shaka Smart lands contract extension at Texas

Texas head coach Shaka Smart instructs his team in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
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Shaka Smart has already landed himself a contract extension at Texas.

The school, according to the Austin American-Statesman, has given Shaka a one-year extension — through the 2022-23 season — and bumped his salary up to a cool $3 million, a raise of $100,000 annually.

Smart’s Longhorns went 20-13 last season and lost on a half court buzzer beater from Northern Iowa’s Paul Jespersen. It will be tough for Smart to match the success that he had last season, specifically because he lost senior point guard Isaiah Taylor to the professional ranks.

That said, the former VCU head man has been reeling in quite a bit of talent from the state of Texas — namely, Andrew Jones and Jarrett Allen — and is not all that far from turning the Longhorns back into a relevant member of the Big 12 title race.