Posted December 13, 2013

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim: Freshmen aren’t worth tanking for

NCAAB
Jim Boeheim (Rich Barnes/Getty Images)

Jim Boeheim’s Syracuse team is 9-0 and starts only one freshman. (Rich Barnes/Getty Images)

Tanking in order to get into what’s expected to be a loaded 2014 draft lottery has been a hot topic in the NBA this season.

But Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim has a message for teams thinking about doing it — don’t bother.

“There’s no player that’s out there on the horizon that’s a Tim Duncan or a LeBron James,” the Hall of Fame coach told SNY.tv by phone on Thursday. “I’ve seen all these guys play. I think they’re very talented players. They’re not that kind of player. They’re not transcendent players that are gonna make your franchise into a 10-12-15-year winning franchise because you’re there. I don’t see that.”

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Boeheim didn’t name any players specifically, but the heralded group of freshmen includes Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, Duke’s Jabari Parker, Julius Randle of Kentucky and Arizona’s Aaron Gordon.

Parker, who leads the group with 22.1 points per game, will play Boeheim’s second-ranked Orange twice this season in ACC play.

Gordon’s Arizona team is ranked No. 1 in the country and already beat Duke this season. The forward is averaging 11.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.

“I think there’s a lot of good players, talented players, guys who will be really good NBA players,” Boeheim said, “but I’m not sure there’s transcendent players there.”


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