If this country falls to the most brilliantly diabolical attack the Nepalese government has ever concieved—when they create a mechanism that speeds up global warming to such an extent that within a few years those mountain-dwellers will be resting contentedly atop the world's most beautiful (and only) land masses, a set of small islands that used to be mountains with peaks above 25,000 feet—and what's left of America floats along in a Waterworld dreamscape with only Kevin Costner and Dennis Hopper left alive to attend games at the Carrier Dome as it floats along somewhere over what used to be the Appalachians, it'll still be OK, because Jim Boeheim will probably win 20 games coaching Syracuse.
Last night the man who's featured a receding hairline, a quizzical look and an infuriatingly constant zone defense for over three decades won his 20th game this season when the 'Cuse dropped St. Johns at the Garden. It was his 31st season doing so, breaking a tie with Dean Smith for the most in Division I history. Now in his 33rd season at Syracuse, Boeheim has never had a losing season.
How good is this? How constant? We already said the guy eclipses Smith, but he's also ahead of Bobby Knight (29) and Lute Olson (29) in the 20-win club. And he's still rolling. Boeheim is 65 according to his birthday, but he looks younger, the product of not over-thinking defensive schemes and recruiting a player like Derrick Coleman, Billy Owens, Carmelo Anthony or Jonny Flynn just often enough.
The Orange are lucky to have him; in 1976, they looked far and wide for a new headman, only to hand the 'Cuse keys to a former Syracuse walk-on, a guy who played alongside Dave Bing and stuck around as a graduate assistant afterwards. In fact, Boeheim was elevated to head coach at Syracuse after years as an assistant, time in which he never once left.
Even Coach K, Knight, Olson, Keady and so many other guys that seem to define the programs they've coached have had other gigs. But not Boeheim. If it weren't for road games, the guy would probably never leave. Even in our waterlogged dreamworld, this man won't leave northern New York, and he'll win 20 games every year until he retires, almost assuredly somewhere local.
It must be the weather.
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