Jim Boeheim shook his head in mock dismay.
''Nobody knew about it. I shouldn't have told anybody,'' Boeheim said, ready for the start of his 37th season at Syracuse.
Everybody around here realizes it now. It's been 50 years since Boeheim enrolled as a freshman, and T-shirts have been printed to mark the occasion.
The 2012-13 season will be like no other in Boeheim's long tenure. It is Syracuse's final year in the Big East before the school moves to the Atlantic Coast Conference, Jim Calhoun has retired at archrival Connecticut, and when the Orange start practicing in earnest after Midnight Madness on Friday night it will mark the first time Boeheim will be without former assistant Bernie Fine in the preseason.
Fine, who started with Boeheim in 1976, was fired last November after sex-abuse allegations lodged by two former ballboys became public. Fine denied the accusations and has yet to be charged. A federal investigation is still under way.