NEW YORK Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim is not often sentimental when talking about the years hes been at Syracuse, but he grew nostalgic Wednesday talking about his teams last appearance in the Big East Tournament.
My whole life it seems like its been here, Boeheim said. I thought Id go five or 10 years going here, now its been 35 since I first came here and Im going to really miss it.
He told a story about coming to Madison Square Garden as a sophomore in college at Syracuse.
That was 50 years ago, he said. That makes me really old.
Boeheim said that there are so many special moments hell remember at the Garden. But all the heartbreaks weve had here, and there have been a lot, make the good times even better.
Syracuse has been to the finals of the Big East Tournament 14 times and won five.
I cant explain the success of this tournament and this league. Dave Gavitt did something with this conference that nobody else could have done, Boeheim said. He got teams together that didnt like each other, forged special relationships and most importantly, got us on TV all the time.
People ask me how this league stayed together so long? My question is, why was it not broken up until now?
Boeheim said that when Gavitt was forming the conference, Syracuse and St. Johns told him initially that they were not interested.
Gavitt dragged me and Louie (Carnesecca) into the league together. We had both been successful and we figured there was no way we were going to join a new league.
As for leaving the Big East for good and entering the Atlantic Coast Conference next season, Boeheim said, Its going to be a new chapter in my life and the life of the school and the team. For me, the challenge of moving into a new league and still being competitive will help keep me on my toes.
TRICHE SHOWS DIFFERENT SIDE
When Syracuse guard Brandon Triche made a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give his team an 11-point lead Wednesday, he did something were not used to seeing from the senior from Jamesville.
After the shot went through, Triche pumped his fist and waved to the Syracuse crowd to get on their feet.
Triche is known to be very subdued and a very quiet player, so this was very unusual for him.
I just did what I could to help the team, Triche said. Im trying to be a little more vocal, a little more emotional these last few games of my career. That just seemed the right time to do it.
Fellow senior James Southerland, who has been Triches roommate for the past three years, said thats a side of Triche not many people see on or off the court.
Hes actually a pretty funny guy, Southerland said. He can get on you with the best of them. Hes become a more vocal leader this season and is doing all he can to help this team win.
CARTER-WILLIAMS TIES RECORD
Syracuse sophomore point guard Michael Carter-Williams tied a Big East Tournament record with 14 assists Wednesday against Seton Hall.
That tied the previous record held by former Syracuse star Pearl Washington, Mark Jackson of St. Johns and Brandin Knight of Pittsburgh.
Carter-Williams said after the game that he was not aware he had tied the record until a manager told him going into the locker room.
If I had known that, I probably would have asked for the ball in the last few seconds, he said.
Carter-Williams added, I just tried to make plays for my teammates tonight. They did a good job of moving without the ball, and it was pretty easy to find them for open shots.