By Jon Rothstein
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Jim Boeheim isn’t going to change.
Not now, not next year — not ever.
So when he was asked Monday if he plans to tighten his rotation as the college basketball season starts to wind down, his answer was direct and succinct.
“We’re 20 something games into the season so we’re going to play who we’re going to play,” Boeheim said on Monday. “We’re not going to change things.”
Syracuse’s outstanding depth has been without question their biggest strength this season and the major reason why the Orange are 23-1 and a likely lock for a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Boeheim has ten players averaging over 12 minutes per game and have multiple people who can take over a game offensively down the stretch.
In November against Stanford in the Preseason NIT, it was senior small forward Kris Joseph that led a second half comeback in the win over the Cardinal.
Other times this season, veteran guards Scoop Jardine and Brandon Triche have made big plays in end of game situations while sophomore guard Dion Waiters has single handedly strapped this team to his back on more than one occasion.
“He’ a tremendous player,” Boeheim said of Waiters. “He’s only going to get better.”
For a sport that usually relies one or two players to make headlines, the Orange are a different breed. They’re truly a team where any one of a handful of players can be the assassin on a given night — and that’s why they’re going to be one of the trendy picks to reach the Final Four in New Orleans and play for a National Title just like they did in 2003.
“Everyone is really buying in,” Boeheim said of Syracuse. “This is a really unselfish team. We’re doing a really good job of sharing the ball.”
Still even though Boeheim is pleased with his teams start, there are some things he’d like to see improve.
Junior forward James Southerland, one of the Orange’s best outside shooters has struggled putting the ball in the basket during the Big East portion of the schedule. Southerland has made just 3-22 shots from behind the 3-point line in Syracuse’s last six games.
“We’ve got to get him going,” Boeheim said of Southerland. “He can really shoot the ball. He’s just struggled in conference play.”
Next up for the Orange is a date Wednesday night at the Carrier Dome against Georgetown, who may be pound for pound the most surprising team in the entire Big East.
“They’ve got some really good veteran guys and Henry Sims has made a quantum leap in terms of his production,” Boeheim said of Georgetown. “They’re a very good team.”
How do you feel about the Orange? Leave a comment below.