Today is one of the two best days in Jim Boeheim's coaching career. Along with his friend and archrival Jim Calhoun of Connecticut, Boeheim was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. [There's one for all of basketball -- collegiate men's and women's, international, NBA]. Boeheim and Calhoun both have 703 victories, Boeheim's turned a regional power into a national team and has had three Final Four teams, Calhoun turned a basketball backwater into a national power and double national champ. Other inductees: Hubie Brown, Sue Gunter (LSU women's coach) and Hortencia Marcari (Brazilian women's star).
And it's about time Boeheim got some overdue recognition. I've been critical of him for about 24 years, but the fact is that as much as people say "Richmond" "Navy" "Vermont", Boeheim has done some terrific jobs: the 1996 John Wallace and the Miracles team, the 2003 Carmelo-ized group, 22 wins out of the '92 Big East champion squad that had three players and a pile of stiffs, turning a pile of nobodys and whoaretheys like Rony Seikaly, Damone Brown, Preston Schumpert, Etan Thomas, Otis Hill, Hakim Warrick and Derrick Coleman (who's rep was not that big coming out of high school) into top-notch college players. And best of all at this point, the kids go to school and get their diplomas at a respectable rate (Forth, Warrick, Pace, Duany, Thomas, Brown, Schumpert, Hart, Janulis from the recent editions).
So congratulations Coach Boeheim. Now, how about another set of pretty "Final Four" and "National Champions" banners for the Carrier Dome?