Syracuse Basketball: Jim Boeheim publicly calling out center is obnoxious

Syracuse basketball (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Syracuse basketball junior big man Jesse Edwards is having the best season on offense for an Orange center dating back to Rakeem Christmas, who earned All-American honors during the 2014-15 stanza for the ‘Cuse.

The 6-foot-11 Edwards still has room for improvement. He has to avoid the silly fouls that lead to him fouling out. He has to get stronger and finish through contact. He has to get better from the charity stripe.

Without question, Edwards wasn’t overly stellar in the team’s disappointing 64-53 loss at Pittsburgh on Tuesday night. But to be fair, the entire Orange roster, save for perhaps senior shooting guard Buddy Boeheim, was pretty darn dreadful in the setback to the Panthers.

‘Cuse head coach Jim Boeheim, who I almost always defend and absolutely love, made a bunch of comments about Edwards in his post-game press conference following the Pitt encounter. I usually appreciate and respect Boeheim’s candor, but what he said about Edwards was a tad harsh, in my humble opinion.

Syracuse basketball center Jesse Edwards is having a solid 2021-22 term.

Boeheim says that Edwards is a good player, and he could be a great player if he gets stronger. That’s fair. But the Orange head coach also said, “We need him to do more, but I don’t think he’s capable of it.”

Look, Boeheim is known for calling it as he sees it. However, can’t that sort of comment about Edwards be saved for a private meeting between him and the head coach, or during a practice session?

I said the same thing about comments Boeheim made regarding freshman forward Benny Williams earlier in the 2021-22 campaign. Keep those thoughts for private discussions. Just my take, though.

Also, Boeheim noted that Edwards has to improve from the free-throw line. According to ESPN statistics, Edwards is hitting on 59.1 percent from the charity stripe, which isn’t good. For some context, graduate student forward Jimmy Boeheim is connecting on 56.3 percent from the free-throw line.

Now, in all fairness, as’s Brent Axe pointed out in a tweet, Jim Boeheim did recently say on ESPN Radio Syracuse that Edwards “is better than 90% of the centers in college basketball.”

Boeheim has said more than once that Edwards has made strong improvements, and I think he’s in the running for the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Most Improved Player award in 2021-22.

On the year, Edwards is averaging 29.1 minutes, 12.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per contest, while making 68.7 percent of his field-goal attempts.

Syracuse basketball (9-11, 3-6) is really struggling this season. Edwards isn’t perfect, but he’s proven an excellent contributor. I merely wish that his head coach would speak to him one-on-one about things for which Edwards needs to continue working.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: Analysts say the time is now for Jim Boeheim to retire. dark