Everyone was frustrated and annoyed after the Syracuse Orange lost another game. After Orange fell to the Pitt Panthers in an uninspired effort, Jim Boeheim took most of his team to task in the post-match press conference. Boeheim was very pointed and direct in his criticism of Joe Girard’s play in the game, but the head coach then went in another direction.
“I thought from the start when he came to Syracuse that it would take him three years to be able to be a contributor. We need him to do more, but I don’t think he’s capable of it. ” – Jim Boeheim on Jesse Edwards (1/2)
— Syracuse Orange on SI (@SyracuseOnSI) January 26, 2022
No one is sitting here trying to say Jesse Edwards is an elite college basketball player right now. However, the improvement he has made from last year is incredible and when you look at how this roster is constructed, he has kept this team and this season from being even worse than it is right now. Dare we say without Jesse that this team couldn’t win 10 games f’n? (yes, we know they might not with him….play the game today, ok)
It’s weird because last week Boeheim told ESPN Syracuse that Jesse was better than “90% of the centers in the country”.
“Jesse is probably better than 90% of the centers in the country right now.”
Jim Boeheim isn’t here for your questions about Syracuse not having good big men. pic.twitter.com/qvITI1RslN
— Cuse Sports Talk (@CuseSportsTalk_) January 20, 2022
It’s not just the people of Syracuse who are seeing Jesse’s growth this season. Rival schools see him for the challenges he presents to their teams when they meet Syracuse.
Edwards wasn’t elite, but he was pretty damn good statistically. 125 ortg on 70% of team minutes. 10th in eFG% and 11th in bouldering% and FTRate nationally. That’s a very bad look from Jim, especially when his sons went 12/33 last night combined on the court. https://t.co/4b4GnZJPy1
— Riley Johnston (@MSD_RaJohnston) January 26, 2022
We all understand the frustration, but calling a player hard is really out of place in this context. Edwards currently directs this The Syracuse team in PER (Player Efficiency Index) by a wide margin. He increased his averages per game from 8.9 minutes, 1.9 points and 2.9 rebounds last year to 29.1 minutes, 12 points and 7 rebounds this season.
He has room to grow, but in his third season at Orange he developed into a solid starting center and was the brightest spot in a dismal campaign. Hopefully Wednesday afternoon’s training session at the Melo Center begins with a public apology from the head coach to his players, especially Jesse.