SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- After an 0-4 start to ACC play, Syracuse basketball fans found themselves at a crossroads.
Attendance started to drop, fans began to leave the games early. The players noticed, the media noticed and Jim Boeheim noticed.
"But I know a lot of people gave up on this team a long time ago," Boeheim said. "So, I'm happy with what they've done."
Since Boeheim's return, Syracuse is 8-2, which is their best 10-game stretch of the season.
22,056 fans came out to support the Orange last night during a snowy and freezing night in Syracuse, New York. Coach Boeheim turned into a weatherman when discussing the elements:
"It was a nice day at Syracuse. Our fans are going to come; it doesn't matter if it snows. They're going to come to the games. Maybe down South they aren't going to the come, but they're gonna come here. They're used to it. I laugh when they start predicting its gonna be an awful day and there's gonna be eight inches of snow, that's nothing. It used to be nothing. They didn't even used to report that - now there's so much emphasis on weather they're making an all day broadcast about eight inches of snow. They didn't even mention that 30 years ago. Eight inches? They didn't even talk about it until it was over two feet, you know a foot and a half, two feet - then they'd mention it.. that it might snow tomorrow. I don't know what we're living in here. What do we have - are the weathercasters - are they all from the South now? It's a normal day."
It's safe to say Syracuse fans won't quit on this team anytime soon, especially with their recent production.
"Our fans are going to come. As long as we play good basketball they're gonna come," Boeheim laughed. "If we don't play good basketball they may not come anymore."
"I think its a true statement," Malachi Richardson said when asked about fans quitting on the team. "Against, I wanna say it was Virginia Tech, we were down a couple points with a couple minutes left and a bunch of fans just started leaving. We were able to send the game into overtime. So it was just like 'Man, why would they give up on us like that?' But, it happens and you just got to move forward and play basketball. I can't worry about the fans. I'm here to win games and get better."