Monday night, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim notched win number 900, becoming only the third Division 1 coach to do so. Boeheim was also the first of the three to be absolutely furious at the end of the game.
The ‘Cuse jumped out to a 20 point lead early in the game and clung to that margin throughout. In the last 6 minutes of the game, however, Detroit came back with a vengeance, cutting the lead to only 4 with just under a minute to play. Boeheim was unhappy with his team’s play, and you could sense some worry when senior guard Brandon Triche fouled out in the final minutes. Clutch free throws from Michael Carter-Williams sealed the game at the end, allowing Boeheim to come out with win 900.
James Southerland was the go-to guy on the offensive end, finishing with 22 points. Carter-Williams, in one of his shakier games, still grabbed his 6thstraight double-double, finishing with 12 points and 10 assists.
Photo Credit: Rich Barnes
But this game wasn’t as much about individual stats as it was about being a team, which is something Boeheim has done tremendously well in his 37 years at the helm. And at the end of the game, Coach didn’t want to talk much about his accomplishment. He was just glad to see his team win, stating after the game, “To me, it’s just a number. If I get 900, have I got to get more? That’s why maybe it’s just not that important to me, because to me it’s just a number, and the only number that matters is how this team does.”
All he wants to do is win another championship, the wins piling up in the process. Will he ever catch Coach K, who’s currently at 936 wins? Probably not, but with 3 more wins, he will pass coaching legend Bobby Knight for 2nd all time, and will continue his climb toward the real number: 1,000. When either coach hits that, you have to take a step back. 900 is great, and in select company, but hitting quadruple digits in wins is a milestone. A milestone anyone should be honored to witness. And still, Boeheim will not want to talk about that, just that his team won. That’s what makes him a class-act and a legend in his own right. How many more wins are we going to see? Nobody knows, but it’s just a number for the fans. The only number Boeheim wants to see is 2: his 2nd National Championship. With this team, it’s a real possibility.