Jim Boeheim rips into Chris McCullough’s NBA draft chances again
It isn’t the first time the Syracuse coach has done this.
Syracuse entered its game against Colgate on Monday night as losers of three of its last four. After starting 25-0 last season, things haven’t been quite so easy for Jim Boeheim’s bunch this year.
It’s a young team. The Orange lost starters Tyler Ennis and Jerami Grant to the NBA, and replaced them with true freshmen in point guard Kaleb Joseph and forward Chris McCullough. The Orange have been inconsistent in the way most young teams are, already losing to Cal, Michigan, St. John’s and Villanova.
Syracuse didn’t have much trouble with Colgate on Monday, sprinting out to a 78-43 victory to improve to 7-4. The win apparently didn’t make Boeheim feel any better about this season, though. He spent the post-game press conference publicly criticizing into his own team.
McCullough found himself as the subject of Boeheim’s most pointed barbs after finishing with five points or less for the third straight game. Quotes via Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician:
If he’s a lottery pick I don’t how he could possibly struggle against Colgate. It just doesn’t make any sense to me.
I got a better chance of winning the lottery…and I don’t buy tickets.
I don’t think [other teams] are even playing him. I don’t think they’re worried about him to be honest with you. He’s got a long way to go, he’s just gotta work hard and work after the game and, you know, gain 20-30 pounds and he’ll be a good player someday.
This isn’t the first time Boeheim has tried to tear down a young player projected to be a first-round draft NBA draft pick. It’s a continuation of something that’s happened throughout his career.
The process with McCullough started last month after the 6’10 forward began showing up in mock drafts. Boeheim lashed out at ESPN’s Chad Ford and others for putting him there, saying “I’ve talked to 10 pro scouts and not one of them thought that Chris McCullough was a first-round pick.”
Boeheim did the same thing last year when Ennis and Grant decided to declare. He essentially cut off all contact with them and continued to be critical of the players’ decisions into June. Ennis ended up going to Phoenix as the No. 18 selection, while Grant was picked in the second round by the Philadelphia 76ers. Both players have spent most of this year in the D-League.
While Boeheim hasn’t criticized every Syracuse underclassmen to leave school (he was fine with Dion Waiters going), comments like these are starting to become one of college basketball’s worst annual traditions. Boeheim is the 23rd highest paid coach in the country this season with a salary over $1.8 million per year, but he still can’t seem to see why players like McCullough, Grant or Ennis would have the audacity to decide to stop playing basketball for free.
Obviously, coaches like Boeheim put a lot of time and energy into recruiting players good enough to jump to the NBA. Losing them after a season or two must be a bummer. The issue with Boeheim is just how far his self-serving mindset extends. If the cost of trying to keep McCullough in school for another year is reaming out a teenager in the press, so be it.
You can watch Boeheim press conference here: