Syracuse’s Carrier Dome to get new name

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Syracuse’s Carrier Dome has a new look and now will get a new name.

The university announced Wednesday that Carrier Global Corp. has agreed to end Carrier’s hold on naming rights to the venue, which is home to the school’s basketball, football and lacrosse teams, effective May 1. A new name was not revealed.

According to a report last week in Sportico, Syracuse-based JMA Wireless, a local technology company, will assume naming rights. An email from The Associated Press seeking comment from the company was not answered.

Carrier pulled off a coup in 1979 before naming rights became so lucrative when it inked a $2.75 million deal with the university for naming rights in perpetuity, a financial mistake the school had been trying to rectify. The Carrier Dome opened in 1980.

The university began referring to the building as simply the Dome in its sports media guides in 2019. Athletic director John Wildhack said at the time there was no reason for a change, but it simply was just a matter of time and he thanked Carrier for its contributions.

“Without Carrier’s generosity … completion of the Carrier Dome would not have been possible,” Wildhack said in a statement, “We are eternally grateful for the tremendous impact Carrier has had on Orange athletics, the Syracuse University community and the Orange fan base.”

The university completed a $118 million renovation of the Carrier Dome in 2020 that included a new roof not supported by air. The irony of having the facility named after a company renowned for its air-conditioning products and not having that luxury inside for four decades is now an old joke since air conditioning was part of that change.

The university also announced a new phase of renovations. They include a complete seating transformation from bench to individual, fixed seats. School officials said the number of seats has not been decided, but capacity likely will decrease from the current 49,507. The existing seating will be removed and made available to high school stadiums and venues across New York state.

An addition of roughly 25,000 square feet also will be built on the east end of the Dome to provide an expanded gathering area with upgraded accessibility. An upgrade of the Dome’s entire digital infrastructure is also planned. Work will begin later in the spring with some of it scheduled to be complete by September.

“We have the best fans and patrons who constantly go out of their way to share feedback, both positive and constructive,” said Pete Sala, vice president and chief campus facilities officer. “We love providing them with the best experience possible and are confident this next round of renovations will have a significant impact on the fan experience.”

Legette-Jack gets her dream basketball job at Syracuse

NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament - First Round - Tennessee
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. – At long last, Felisha Legette-Jack has her dream job – coaching at her alma mater in the city where she grew up.

Legette-Jack was introduced Monday as the women’s basketball coach at Syracuse after a decade at Buffalo of the Mid-American Conference. She replaces Vonn Read, who guided the Orange through a difficult season after his predecessor, Quentin Hillsman, resigned amid allegations he mistreated players.

“The feeling that continues to come over me is – I am home, I am home,” said Legette-Jack, who was unable to curb her enthusiasm on the drive to campus. “We talked about this a long time ago and here we are. It has been my dream job since I was a freshman here. The perfect time is right now. We both have a want and a need. It fits perfectly.”

The 55-year-old Legette-Jack is the fourth woman to lead the program. She started her coaching career as an assistant at Boston College in 1991 and was an assistant with the Orange under the previous woman who held the job, Marianna Freeman.

Legette-Jack has a 343-279 record as a head coach. She spent six years at Indiana before she was fired. Buffalo gave her a second chance and she took the Bulls to the NCAA Tournament four times in her 10 seasons, reaching the Sweet 16 in 2018.

“Today starts a new era, a new book, in the history of our women’s basketball program,” said Syracuse athletic director John Wildhack, who interviewed Legette-Jack a week ago and offered her the job two days later. “Coach has the experience, she has the expertise, she has the vision and she has unsurpassed passion. Coach Legette-Jack is the right person at the right time to lead this program.”

The Orange finished 11-18 overall and 4-14 in the Atlantic Coast Conference this past season and missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time in a decade. That was understandable considering what happened last offseason. Read, an associate head coach since 2013, took over a program that was pretty much stripped bare.

Eleven players transferred after the 2020-21 season, and Hillsman resigned last August during an investigation into his coaching practices after 15 years of building the Orange into a powerful program that reached the national championship game in 2016. Several former members of the team said they dealt with bullying, threats and unwelcome physical contact under Hillsman.

Legette-Jack kept close tabs on the team she starred for in the 1980s. She said she watched every minute of every Syracuse game last season even while coaching the Bulls – and beating her alma mater last November at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas.

“I wanted them to have success despite how tough it was for everybody,” she said. “It was shocking, devastating. It’s always a tough pill to swallow if … you love this place like I do. My heart broke for them because it had to be something really tough to have to go through to want to leave.”

Legette-Jack said she met with the 10 players who remain in the program and will rely on attracting others through the transfer portal.

“We’re behind the 8-ball a little bit. It’s going to take a while,” she said. “The portal is going to be very important.”

No. 7 Duke surges late to hold off Syracuse 88-79 in ACC

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim shook hands as they usually do after the two Hall of Fame coaches faced off on the court for the last time Thursday.

There was no need for the friends to say some kind of special good-bye. They know they’ll keep in touch and cross paths again.

Coach K is retiring after this, his 42nd season at Duke. Boeheim says he’s coming back for a 47th season at Syracuse

“I don’t like to play against him, but we’ll have dinner together,” Boeheim said after the Blue Devils eliminated the Orange from the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament with an 88-79 quarterfinal victory.

Playing without suspended star Buddy Boeheim, ninth-seeded Syracuse took a one-point lead with 3:32 left in the second half, but top-seeded Duke closed with 10-0 run.

“We got the game we expected,” Krzyzewski said.

Wendell Moore Jr. scored 26 points and Jeremy Roach had 16 in the second half for the Blue Devils (27-5), who advanced to Friday’s semifinals at Barclays Center against the winner of Miami-Boston College.

Coming off a jarring loss to end the regular season against North Carolina in Coach K’s Cameron send-off, Duke looked like a team still trying to find its March form.

Duke forward Mark Williams said he couldn’t bear the thought of another surprising loss spoiling this leg of Krzyzewski’s farewell tour.

“We had to learn from that game, but at the same time we had to move on,” said Williams, who scored 15 points. “Can’t be playing mind games with yourself: `What if this happens? What if that happens?’ ”

The Blue Devils couldn’t shake the Orange until a closing kick that came after Jimmy Boeheim’s tip-in put Syracuse up 79-78.

Freshman Paolo Banchero made a tough shot in the lane with 2:13 left to put Duke up 82-79. Moore found Roach for an open 3 about a minute later and Williams’ breakaway dunk made the lead eight with 48 second left.

“Wendell really led us down the stretch,” Krzyzewski said. “Jeremy had a sensational game.”

The loss leaves Syracuse (16-17) with a losing record. With the NCAA Tournament out of the question and the NIT highly unlikely, the Orange are looking at their first sub-.500 season under the 77-year-old Jim Boeheim.

“I thought we played with a tremendous purpose today,” Jim Boeheim said.

Playing without ACC leading scorer Buddy Boeheim, Syracuse got a lift from big brother Jimmy Boeheim, who scored a season-high 28 points and was 6 for 9 from 3.

“I was playing for this kid today,” Jimmy said, sitting next to Buddy during a postgame news conference with their dad. “I wanted to do everything I could to get him one more game.”

Buddy Boeheim was suspended for the game by the conference for a “flagrant act” after he punched Florida State’s Wyatt Wilkes in the stomach during the Orange’s second-round victory Wednesday.

“Sitting on that bench I couldn’t be prouder watching my big bro doing his thing,” Buddy Boeheim said.

Buddy Boeheim stood under the basket in a blue warmup suit while his teammates shot around pregame, occasionally grabbing a rebound. Relegated to the bench, he took a spot toward the end, just before the walk-ons but was often the first to greet his teammates coming off the floor.

The Orange lost two games to Duke during the regular season with Buddy Boeheim by a combined 45 points. Syracuse didn’t seem to have much of a chance without him.

Joe Girard, who came in averaging 13.5 per game, did his best “Buddy Buckets” impersonation in the first half. He scored 18, including a corner 3 at the buzzer. The junior guard ran off the floor waving on the Syracuse fans to bring the noise, with the Orange leading 40-36.

Syracuse upped the lead to seven early in the second half, but Duke started getting the ball inside and a fourth foul on Cole Swider with 15:00 to go left the Orange struggling to finish the upset.

BIG PICTURE

Syracuse: Buddy Boeheim apologized again, several times, for striking Wilkes and struggled to hold back tears as he spoke about watching his college career come to an end.

“Been thinking about the play the last 24 hours,” Buddy Boeheim said. “I don’t think I’ve thrown a punch in my life. I never meant to intentionally hurt him.”

Jim Boeheim criticized the decision to suspend his son, saying if the incident was handled properly during Wednesday’s game by the officials, at worst Buddy Boeheim would have been ejected and eligible to play against Duke.

But because there was no video review of the play during the Florida State game, it cost Buddy Boeheim the Duke game.

“That makes no common sense to me,” Jim Boeheim said.

Krzyzewski stopped short of criticizing the ACC’s decision, but did say: “I wish what happened (Wednesday) was adjudicated during the game.”

Duke: The Blue Devils have won seven straight meetings against Syracuse.

The 75-year-old Krzyzewski called Boeheim, who he spent more than a decade working with on USA Basketball, his best friend in coaching.

“There’s nobody except a former player who I cheer for more,” Krzyzewski said about Boeheim. “His team did him proud.”

Duke is 13-5 in matchups between Krzyzewski and Boeheim.

UP NEXT

Duke lost at home to Miami in January and beat Boston College on the road this season.

Syracuse star Boeheim suspended after punch during ACC game

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NEW YORK – Syracuse star Buddy Boeheim was suspended for the Orange’s Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament game against Duke after he punched a Florida State player in the stomach Wednesday during a second-round victory.

The ACC announced the one-game suspension for a “flagrant act” about four hours after ninth-seeded Syracuse beat eighth-seeded Florida State 96-57 to advance to the quarterfinals Thursday at Barclays Center.

The senior, the son of Orange coach Jim Boeheim, earlier released a statement acknowledging he was wrong.

“In the heat of today’s game, after some shoving in the lane, I swung my arm while turning to go back up court. It was wrong to act out in frustration,” Boeheim said in a statement posted on Syracuse basketball’s Twitter account. “I apologized to Wyatt Wilkes multiple times in the handshake line. He said not to worry about it, but I know it was wrong.”

If the Orange (16-16) lose to Duke, Boeheim is likely to have played his last college game. He has indicated several times this season he did not intend to take advantage of the extra year of eligibility the NCAA granted athletes for competing during the pandemic-altered 2020-21 season.

Syracuse is not in contention for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and the NIT also seems unlikely if the Orange fall below .500 with a loss to Duke.

Boeheim was not called for a foul on the play, which happened after Syracuse made a basket.

“I saw the play, the kid pushed him twice,” Jim Boeheim said. “I think it was inadvertent. It wasn’t much of a punch.”

Jim Boeheim dismissed the idea of his son possibly being suspended when asked about it. He said if officials had noticed the play a flagrant 1 foul might have been called on Buddy Boeheim. The coach did concede Buddy Boeheim had retaliated for being pushed.

Buddy Boeheim leads the ACC in scoring at 19.3 points per game.

Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton diffused the situation during his postgame news conference, praising the younger Boeheim’s character.

“I don’t want anything to take away from how well they played and what type of fine young man he is,” Hamilton said. “The game is physical. We expect guys to go out and bang and be aggressive. If something inadvertently happens sometimes we want to categorize it in one way or another.”

“I’ve lost my composure sometimes. I’ve made some mistakes.”

Wilkes doubled over and squatted for a moment after being struck about midway through the first half. He continued to play.

The two players were seen speaking to each other after the game, with Boeheim walking away smiling.

“I pride myself in respecting the game and and our opponent,” Boeheim said. “I will not react that away again.”

The situation was reminiscent of another infamous moment in ACC history, involving a high-profile player.

In 2005, Wake Forest’s Chris Paul hit North Carolina State’s Julius Hodge below the belt during the team’s regular-season finale. No foul was called, but Wake Forest suspended Paul after consulting with the ACC for its first conference tournament game.

Boeheim has become one of the most prolific 3-point shooters in the country while playing for his Hall of Fame coach father. For his career, Boeheim has averaged 14.6 points per game and made 306 3s.

Boeheim helped the Orange reach the NCAA Sweet 16 last year with some sharp shooting to back up his “Buddy Buckets” moniker. This year he was named first-team all-ACC.

Syracuse lost both meetings against No. 7 Duke this season, the first by 20 points on the road and then by 25 points at home.

Williams scores 28, No. 7 Duke beats Syracuse 97-72

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. – With Syracuse’s big man out for the season, the Orange again were no match for No. 7 Duke.

Mark Williams scored a career-high 28 points and pulled down 12 rebounds, Paolo Banchero had 21 points and dished out nine assists with one turnover in the heart of the Syracuse zone defense, and AJ Griffin added 20 points as the Blue Devils raced to a commanding early lead and beat Syracuse 97-72 on Saturday night.

“I thought our offense was like amazing in the first 17 minutes. We played very well in the second half,” Krzyzewski said. “They scored the last 11 points of the first half and anything can happen then.”

It didn’t. With 6-foot-11 center Jesse Edwards watching with a broken wrist, the Blue Devils had their way again with Syracuse, which they defeated 79-59 three weeks ago at home. Duke had a season-high 26 assists on 35 baskets, one more assist than the last time the teams met.

“Jesse is a difference-maker for this team. It’s been too hard to overcome,” Orange coach Jim Boeheim said. “We can’t handle Duke. It’s pretty simple.”

It was the final regular-season meeting between the two winningest coaches in Division I history – Krzyzewski (1,195), who’s retiring after the season, and Jim Boeheim (997). It was Krzyzewski’s 200th road win in the Atlantic Coast Conference, extending his record.

Duke (25-4, 15-3 ACC) is closing in on its first ACC regular-season championship since 2010. The Blue Devils were a game ahead of Notre Dame, which beat Georgia Tech on Saturday night. The Blue Devils have a seven-game road winning streak, the longest active one by a Power 5 team.

Banchero had four 3s and Griffin had 6 on 17 attempts, and Duke finished 15 of 32 from deep. Williams finished 11 of 14 from the floor and had 12 rebounds.

“Paolo, it was one of his best games,” Krzyzewski said. “And Mark was fantastic. His ability to catch and finish and also get eight offensive rebounds was huge. I’m obviously very pleased.”

Buddy Boeheim led Syracuse (15-14, 9-9) with 23 points, Joe Girard had 18 and freshman Benny Williams a season-high 14. Bourama Sidibe added 11 points.

“It’s tough,” Buddy said.

Duke raced to a 14-0 lead, hitting its first four shots and two free throws while the Orange went 0-7 and 0-3 from beyond the arc. With 11:47 left in the opening half, Duke was 11 of 12 from the floor, including 6 for 7 on 3s. Two 3s by Banchero, two more by Griffin and a dunk by Williams put the Blue Devils up 31-9 as the big Carrier Dome crowd had little to cheer.

The lead ballooned to 48-18 on a corner 3 by Banchero with 5:02 left before Buddy Boeheim hit a pair of 3s and scored 10 points to narrow the lead to 51-34 at halftime.

Banchero had 18 points and Griffin 14 in the opening half, combining to hit 8 of 11 3-pointers. The Blue Devils shot 18 of 30 (60%) and 10 of 17 (58.8%) from behind the arc in the period.

Jimmy Boeheim, who had scored 15 points in the first half of each of Syracuse’s previous two games, missed the three shots he attempted and did not score in 21 minutes. Cole Swider, who was averaging 13.3, finished with two points and took just four shots.

Syracuse closed to 73-57 on a 3-pointer by Williams midway through the second half, but got no closer.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Duke has been a fixture in the top 10 of the AP Top 25 since it was ranked No. 9 in the preseason – and will stay there.

K’S FAREWELL TOUR

Krzyzewski, who graduated from West Point and coached there before going to Duke, was honored Wednesday night at Virginia with a plaque and Syracuse followed suit on Saturday. Coach K was given a photo of him and Jim Boeheim that was mounted on a tile from the old Carrier Dome roof and Syracuse University established a military scholarship in his honor..

“Wow! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I very much appreciate it,” Krzyzewski said afterward.

BIG CROWD

Boeheim wanted fans to be able to attend without having to wear masks, but that didn’t happen. The game drew 31,803, the 85th time that attendance has surpassed 30,000. Duke’s visit three years ago set the Carrier Dome record of 35,642. A moment of silence was held before the game to honor Ukraine.

BIG PICTURE

Duke: The Blue Devils have been the class of the ACC all season. Duke is the conference’s lone ranked team and will have a high seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Syracuse: The Orange entered the game 0-7 in the important Quadrant 1 games and were mired at 86th in the NCAA’s NET rankings. In a down year for the ACC, the automatic bid that goes to the conference tournament champion likely remains the only hope for Syracuse to make the NCAA Tournament.

UP NEXT

Duke: At Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.

Syracuse: At North Carolina on Monday night.

Boeheim brothers lead Syracuse past Georgia Tech in OT

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
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SYRACUSE, N.Y.- The Boeheim brothers combined for 35 points and Buddy Boeheim hit a key 3-pointer in overtime to lift Syracuse to a 74-73 victory over Georgia Tech on Monday night.

Buddy Boeheim’s 3-pointer gave Syrcause a 72-70 lead with 2:17 to go in the extra period. Jimmy Boeheim drew a foul on Syracuse’s next possession and made both free throws for a 74-70 lead with 1:56 remaining.

Kyle Sturdivant’s 3-pointer drew Georgia Tech within a point with 1:36 remaining for the game’s final points. After a series of turnovers and missed jumpers by both teams, Georgia Tech had possession with 22 seconds left. Michael Devoe, Georgia Tech’s leading scorer, would miss three jump shots as the Yellow Jackets collected the offensive rebound after each miss – with time running out on the third try.

Jimmy Boeheim led Syracuse (15-12, 9-7 ACC) with 20 points and he grabbed 10 rebounds. Buddy Boeheim scored 15 points but together the brothers were 11 of 37 from the field. Cole Swider had 18 points and 12 rebounds. Joe Girard III added 12 points and five assists. Syracuse won despite shooting 33%. The Orange had only four turnovers.

Rodney Howard had 19 points and 10 rebounds for Georgia Tech (11-16, 4-12). Jordan Usher had 14 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. Devoe finished with 14 points, five rebounds and four assists.

A 3-pointer by Girard and a layup from Swider gave Syracuse a 59-53 lead with 5:23 remaining in regulation. Georgia Tech bounced right back with a pair of 3-pointers from Dallan Coleman to tie the score. At 2:28 Coleman came through again, making two of three free throws to draw the Yellow Jackets within 63-62. A minute later, Jalon Moore made one of two free throws to tie the score at 63 and set up the scoreless final minute of regulation.

The game was a makeup for the game that was originally scheduled for Dec. 29 but was postponed due to COVID-19 issues within the Yellow Jackets’ team.