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Jim Boeheim, Syracuse still answering questions

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff  March 23, 2012 03:57 PM

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Jim Boeheim must get tired of talking about his 2-3 zone.

Those familiar with Syracuse are plenty familiar with the coach's defense, but even those who know very little about Syracuse know about the zone. It's a popular topic with visiting media, and it's been that way for more than 30 seasons and close to 900 wins.

"It's always funny to me," Boeheim said this afternoon when asked about his zone defense. "I never hear anybody yelling at Mike Krzyzewski to go back and play zone. Why is that? He's such a good coach, you don't question him? Is that what that is? Really? Somebody shook their head down here. Okay, that means I'm not a good coach, so you can question me."

Boeheim was clearly perturbed at the line of questioning -- 30 years, people -- but the coach has had bigger things to worry about this season. Allegations of sexual abuse against former assistant coach Bernie Fine have clouded the team's image off the court, and the team's suspension of starting center Fab Melo two days before the NCAA Tournament hasn't helped matters. Syracuse is a No. 1 seed with just two losses in 36 games, but they've also managed to play the role of the underdog despite all that success.

"I think what goes on off the court affects me more than it does them," said Boeheim. "Some of the stuff happened 100 years ago, and some of it happened seven years ago, whenever it happened, and they're not involved in it, so it's not their concern.
The thing they had to go through was losing Fab, which was difficult, to lose your center. ... They've had a tremendous year. I don't subscribe to the theory that you have to win this or win that in the tournament to have a good year."

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