Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Boeheim's career more than a number
By Dana O'Neil
From Jeff Capel (167 wins at age 37) to Bob Huggins (700-plus at 59) and with some Rick Pitino (600-plus at age 60), Billy Donovan (400-plus at 47) and Brad Stevens (100-plus at 36) sprinkled in, ESPN Stats & Information has devised a pretty good guesstimate about the next record-setting coach in college basketball.
This top-10 list is based on logic and math, comprised of men who are of a certain age with a certain number of wins already on their resume.
The equation -- age + wins, if you will -- is supposed to predict who has, if not a likely one, at least a statistical chance to win 900 games.
Except there is an inherent problem with just using math and logic to predict human achievement -- it ignores the human part.
Jim Boeheim didn't get into college coaching to win 900 games and at no point in his career did he take aim at Bob Knight, whose spot as the second winningest coach Boeheim surpassed with Syracuse's 78-53 win against Rutgers on Wednesday night.
He got to the top of the mountain for a few reasons: the good fortune of an early start to his career; old-fashioned smarts and know-how; savvy recruiting; patience, tolerance and support from his varied administrations; and a Kevlar-lined skin.
But mostly he got there because he loves basketball enough to make it is his lifelong hobby.