Boeheim Congratulated by Team

With Jim Boeheim elevating his career numbers even higher, the players that have helped him attain his most recent victories share in the moment. See what they said to inside.

Syracuse Orange men's head basketball coach Jim Boeheim is now in the 900 club, but this feat could not have come without those he has taught going out and performing on the court.

He has said this season that "this team is the only thing that matters".

Boeheim's belief and care for his players says much about a coach who does not seem to have lost the love of the game or the want to teach young minds.

His players responded by taking the time to appreciate his milestone 900th victory.

"I'm happy to be a part of it," said junior forward C.J. Fair. "It's something I can remember for the rest of my life. And when years go on, no knowing when Coach is gonna stop coaching, so for me to be a part of 900 win is big."

Speaking on how Boeheim has affected him on and off the court, Fair offered, "He's a good mentor. He's easy to talk to off the court. If there's a problem, he's there to listen and he got great coaches around him that keep him balanced. So I appreciate the opportunity to be here as a student-athlete."

"I definitely think I made the right decision coming here, coming to Syracuse," Fair continued. "Playing for a hall-of-fame coach and playing a style of offense and defense that fit my personnel, so I think this is the best place for me to be."

Fellow forward, sophomore Rakeem Christmas, added his take of being with Boeheim for his 900th win. "It's a big honor to be part of that," said Christmas. "Coach Boeheim's a good coach. He deserves it, and [we] just came out there and did what we had to do."

Michael Carter-Williams, who joined the Orange with Christmas a season ago, shared, "It means a lot just to be a part of something special for coach. He deserves it. He's worked hard for it."

As far as Boeheim's presence in his life, Carter-Williams expressed, "He's helped me a lot. He's a great person. He gives me great advice, especially on the basketball court. He's made me into a leader on this team and I appreciate that."

Veterans, senior guard Brandon Triche and senior forward James Southerland, took the time to reflect on Boeheim's milestone as well.

"It's an incredible experience," said Triche. "I [have] seen the last 300…I think might of been Jonny Flynn [when he] was [in] his freshman year, I think they got 700 or so, and then 800, and now I'm seeing 900, so it's been an incredible experience. I'm happy to be a part of it and he deserves every win he gets."

Southerland, there with Triche for number 800 on November 9, 2009, their first regular season game as members of the Orange, contributed his feelings on this most recent accomplishment, saying, "It feels great…it feels like being part of history twice from freshman year to my senior year. It feels great."

Now, redshirt-sophomore Trevor Cooney is where Triche and Southerland were, celebrating a Boeheim milestone that he is a part of very early on in his collegiate career. "I mean it's a great accomplishment for him," said Cooney. "I mean he's been extremely successful, coaching wise. And I mean the number of wins speaks for itself."

"But I know he's not too worried about that right now," Cooney added, echoing Boeheim's sentiments. "I know he's more focused on the next games and this coming season and not just his overall accomplishments."

That is Boeheim. Always caring about the next game, preparing his team for what lies ahead. Milestones are reached and passed like billboards on the highway, but Boeheim keeps his eyes on the road. He may gaze over to see what the billboards say, but he keeps his focus on driving the Orange forward.

One day, he will take his exit, but when that day occurs, one thing will be certain. He will tell the next person to keep their eyes on the road. For those billboards would never have been created if not for the road that was built there first.

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