What’s Syracuse basketball like without Jim Boeheim at the helm?
Jim Boeheim arrived in Syracuse in 1963 as a security guard from nearby Lyons, New York who had dreams of playing for his favorite school. After his playing career ended, he stayed and became an assistant. In 1976 he was appointed head coach.
But the reign of a leader who has led his team to five Final Fours is at an end.
On Wednesday, a day after Syracuse lost to Wake Forest in the first round of the ACC tournament, the school announced that the head coach, who took the helm four years before Mike Krzyzewski’s arrival at Duke, would not be returning next season .
The consensus had always been that Boeheim would never willingly leave the program he has been attached to for nearly six decades. It never got to that point. The school reportedly made the decision, and now Adrian “Red” Autry, who played for Boeheim and served as his assistant, is Syracuse’s new head coach.
According to sources, Autry had long been the administrative choice to succeed Boeheim. The 1994 graduate has been on the Syracuse staff since 2011.
Twenty years after its only national title run, Syracuse must adjust to a new landscape — consisting of the transfer portal, opportunities for names, pictures and likenesses (NIL) and most importantly without Boeheim — to bring the program back to the fore.
ESPN’s Jeff Borzello, John Gasaway and Myron Medcalf discuss the biggest issues Syracuse is facing.
Where does Syracuse go from here without Boeheim?
Syracuse is trying to recapture the success it enjoyed under Boeheim until about a decade ago. The Final Four runs Orange made in 2013 (as No. 4) and 2016 (as No. 10) were postseason successes that largely offset an era of disappointment in the regular season. The Orange’s record in ACC play has been at or near .500 in each of the past nine seasons. Under a new coach there will be far fewer questions about the future of the program. This is a branded basketball team with a rabid fan base and a glittering roster of past stars starting with Carmelo Anthony. Syracuse goes on and up from here. – gas path
How did Autry become Boeheim’s successor?
For the last 10 to 15 years, when Boheim’s impending retirement was discussed, the assumption was that Syracuse would keep him in the family if he named his successor. It was long expected that it would be Mike Hopkins, who was the manager-on-waiting for a few years before becoming head coach at Washington in 2017. In recent years, Autry, 51, and Gerry McNamara, 39, left as the logical candidates — both former Syracuse players, both current Syracuse assistants. But Autry has more coaching experience and is ready to take the reins of the program. He’s a proven recruiter, particularly in the Washington, DC area, and few people have a better understanding of Syracuse basketball. – Borcello
What challenges does Autry face in the coming days as the new head coach?
Given that Autry played under Boeheim and has been on his staff since 2011, the continuity issues most new hires face may not be such a big issue for the Orange. But Autry will still face challenges when it comes to building a competitive squad for next season. Judah Mintz, the team’s second-leading scorer this season, is expected to be close to the second round of the NBA draft in June. Benny Williams kept falling out of favor under Böheim but ended the season well. Essentially, the entire squad is eligible to return for another season, so Autry’s ability to retain this group is imperative. On the recruiting path, the Oranges only have one commitment for 2023-24 and one commitment in the class of 2024. Autry also needs to get down to building future rosters. – Borcello
What does Syracuse expect from Autry in the long term? What must he do to ensure his success?
Last summer I flew to Syracuse to talk to Boeheim about his future. A few things stood out. First, Boeheim was so much more than a basketball coach. He was an emperor up there, for better or for worse. Secondly, he had no interest in adapting to a new world with NIL and the transfer portal. “We don’t pay players,” he said.
Syracuse has no choice but to plunge into this new era of college basketball if the goal is to return to enduring importance. Autry also has to act like a politician – and that will be the hardest part of this job. There’s a portion of that fanbase, including a lot of old money, that still loves Boeheim. Autry must be sensitive to this, as he creates his own culture without offending a group of followers who have loved Boeheim for five decades.
The expectation will be the same as with any coach: win, recruit, succeed in the NCAA tournament, and do it all again next year. But Autry is being asked to be more than just a coach. That’s an unfair magnifying glass for any head coach, even one who played and coached for the school.
Can he please everyone? Not even Boeheim could do it towards the end. Autry will do his best. If he can get things going again in the next few years, he’ll get the support. – Medcalf
https://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/35814461/what-does-syracuse-basketball-look-jim-boeheim-helm What’s Syracuse basketball like without Jim Boeheim at the helm?