Boeheim starts last road tour through Big East

Boeheim starts last road tour through Big East

Jim Boeheim has started his last slate of road games in the Big East.

And it seems to be sending him down memory lane.

After No. 7 Syracuse beat South Florida 55-44 in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, the first conference road game this season for Boeheim's team, he spoke at length about his past, his half-century at the school as a player, student and coach - and how he would have stopped coaching if the Orange were leaving in a heyday for the rapidly changing Big East.

``We were in a good league, and then a great league, and a great league, and pretty good, then it was great, then it was good, then it was great and now it's something different,'' Boeheim said. ``It changes all the time. It's not the same.

``If it was the same and we were leaving, I wouldn't leave. I would have just retired. It's not the same.''

It was announced in September 2011 that the Atlantic Coast Conference council of presidents unanimously voted to accept Syracuse and Pittsburgh, two schools that were considered Big East cornerstones. They'll officially move leagues next fall, and Louisville and Notre Dame - in all sports but football - have since been approved for addition to the ACC as well.

Boeheim has long spoken of his affinity for the Big East, the league that was founded in 1979 as a basketball conference and counted Syracuse as a charter member. These days, even someone like Boeheim has trouble figuring out who's coming and going through the Big East in this realignment trend for major conferences.

``It's Houston and SMU and you can't even name all the teams that are going to be there and when they're going to be there,'' Boeheim said. ``It's not the same. The ACC is a very stable league, I think - knock on wood, knock on some president's head. We hope it's stable. But who knows? Nothing's really stable. Things are going to be changing. I'll be fishing someplace and playing golf. But there's many changes yet to come, no question.''

Those changes don't include Boeheim looking elsewhere.

He has 904 wins and passed Bob Knight (902) for No. 2 on the men's college basketball all-time victory list last week, trailing only Duke's Mike Krzyzewski - someone whom Boeheim has no designs on catching, since he said Krzyzewski plans to coach forever.

``I feel I have a good job,'' Boeheim said. ``I'm from Central New York. I grew up there. I was a walk-on there. I've been there for 68 years. I've been at Syracuse for 50. I've never seriously considered leaving, ever, at any time. If I knew what I knew about the NBA a couple years ago I might have thought about going to be the NBA, but it's a little bit past my time for that right now.''

Not even being around NBA stars like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade - and former Syracuse star Carmelo Anthony - during his stint as an assistant under Krzyzewski with USA Basketball had Boeheim looking to the pro game.

In short, he knows the national team isn't quite the same as the rigors of the pro game.

``It's unbelievable to work with those guys. But it's not like that in the league,'' Boeheim said. ``If I could go work with those guys, I'd sign on for that. They wouldn't even have to pay me that much. But they were so good. The pros, all the myths and everything, we had them five months for five years and we never had a guy late for a practice, meeting, nothing. We never had to sit down and talk to somebody.''

There was a certain irony to the timing of Boeheim speaking at length about why he never left Syracuse, given that Doug Marrone - the Orange football coach for the past four seasons - reached an agreement to become the Buffalo Bills' new coach Sunday, according to the three people familiar with the negotiations who spoke to The Associated Press.

Boeheim said his reason for staying put this long was simple.

``Nobody wanted me. I found a place that wanted me so, you know, I stayed there,'' Boeheim said. ``It's sad where we are but you can't look at a football coach or a basketball coach who sees an opportunity that he feels is good for him. If he loses two years in a row, he's going to be fired. So how can you be loyal? They're going to fire you if you don't win. I don't fault coaches for looking.''

More than 3,000 Syracuse fans, by Boeheim's estimate, made the trip to Tampa for the game against USF. And of those, plenty surely were those who merely wanted an escape from a tough few weeks of winter in Central New York.

Yes, Syracuse's winter weather can be oft-maligned. In time, it changes. His address does not.

``I like it there. It's a good place,'' Boeheim said. ``Three months, the weather's bad - and we play basketball in them.''

Could Maryland safety Darnell Savage Jr. jump into 2019 NFL Draft's first round?


Could Maryland safety Darnell Savage Jr. jump into 2019 NFL Draft's first round?

Coming out of the NFL combine, former Maryland safety Darnell Savage Jr. was projected to be a second-round pick in the NFL Draft. But could he end up sliding into the first round on Thursday?

It seems like a possibility now, based on some of the teams he's met with, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Monday. And analyst Daniel Jeremiah has previously said Savage could rise to the first round too.

NBC Sports Washington's latest NFL Mock Draft has Savage going to the Green Bay Packers as the 44th overall pick.

According to Rapoport, Savage met with 11 teams, including the Carolina Panthers (No. 16 overall pick), Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 20 overall pick), Seattle Seahawks (No. 21 overall pick), Philadelphia Eagles (No. 25 overall pick) and Los Angeles Rams (No. 31 overall pick). 

The three-year starter out of College Park was named Second Team All-Big Ten this season after recording 52 tackles (38 solo, 14 assist) for the Terps, along with four interceptions, including one pick six. He's versatile, strong and fast, and even if he gets passed by in the first round of the NFL Draft, it seems unlikely that he'll still be available by the end of the second.

At 5-foot-11 and 198 pounds, Savage ran a 4.36-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine in February -- a time that was second-fastest among all safeties -- and posted a 39.5-inch vertical, third among safeties, and a 126-inch broad jump. He also had 11 bench-press reps.

Pro Football Focus has Savage listed as the second-best safety in this year's draft class behind Delaware's Nasir Adderley because he's "a missile around the line of scrimmage".


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Redskins Talk crew hosts NFL Draft live stream: How to watch and listen

Redskins Talk crew hosts NFL Draft live stream: How to watch and listen

Ever wanted to actually see JP Finlay jump out of his seat during a Redskins Talk podcast than just listen to him talk about jumping out of his seat? Well here's your chance.

With the long anticipated 2019 NFL Draft finally starting Thursday, Finlay, Pete Hailey, Mitch Tischler and a variety of guests will conquer the airways and discuss every surprise, victory, and (possbily) bad decision made throughout the offseason event on exclusive streams of the Redskins Talk pod.

Each week day, starting on Wednesday, April 24th and running through Monday, April 29th, you can join the gang on the MyTeams by NBC Sports App from 1 to 2 p.m. as they analyze the intricacies of every draft decision that's made and explain how those decisions will impact the Burgundy and Gold. The Redskins Talk crew will also host special coverage of Round 1 on Thursday, April 25th, beginning at 8 p.m., offering an in-depth anlysis up to and through the 'Skins' pick. 

So, if you haven't already downloaded the MyTeams App, you can do so right now, RIGHT HERE.

Redskins Talk Podcast 2019 NFL Draft Special

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When: 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. ET, Wednesdday, Thursday, Friday & Monday, with special coverage of the Redkins pick starting at 8 p.m. on Thursday

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