FIFTH QUARTER: Boeheim rips media

Syracuse head basketball coach Jim Boeheim ripped the media while defending football coach Paul Pasqualoni and Athletic Director Jake Crouthamel following Syracuse's 75-54 win over Binghamton, Saturday.

"I've been here for 25 years and I've noticed over that period of time that Jake Crouthamel knows what he's doing about football," Boeheim said. "But all the sudden, this week, the members of the media know more about football than (Crouthamel) does. I listen to the media and I hear, ‘Well, we, want a change.' When did the media become we?"

Some called for the firing of Pasqualoni following a disappointing 6-6 season following 2001's 4-8 debacle. Several columns ran in the local Syracuse papers and some talk show hosts wanted Pasqualoni gone.

"Now the media knows, ‘We need a new football coach.'" Boeheim said. "We did you guys coach? We averaged 450 yards of total offense at home? We averaged 35 points a game? Are they giving up their tickets at Notre Dame? I don't think so."

"I go to every (football) game," Boeheim said. "It's good football. It's exciting football. He's been to eight bowl games, he's won six of them. Yeah, they've had two tough years, but they were .500 this year."

"I'm proud that I'm at Syracuse and not at Nebraska. That's what I'm proud of. If you have to win 12 or 11 games here, I wouldn't want to coach here. If you have to win the national championship or go to the final four here, I wouldn't want to coach here."

Boeheim was referring to Nebraska football coach Frank Solich, who was fired Nov. 29 despite a 9-3 record this season.

"And another thing, every two weeks there's an article about how coaches don't care about student athletes and they don't care whether they graduate," Boeheim said. "Then you get a coach that does that, and then everyone wants him fired because he didn't win enough games. How hypocritical can you be?"

"If we lose a few games, is that how it will be? Am I going to have to go too? Is that the way it works around here? Let's get a life. Let's let someone's who's an expert do what they do."

McCroskey Plays

Freshman guard Louis McCroskey made his first collegiate appearance, checking into the game with 3:14 left in the first half. He was greeted with a loud ovation from fans.

McCroskey was suspended for the first three games of the season because of academic issues. The matters were cleared last week by Crouthamel.

McCroskey scored five points and dished out two assists in 13 minutes of play.

"Out of all (the freshmen), he did the best out of all of us," freshman forward Terrence Roberts said. "For his first game, he did very well."

The Orangemen have missed Kueth Duany and Carmelo Anthony, perhaps most notably in shooting. The ability for Duany and Anthony to shoot spread out opposing defenses and allowed Hakim Warrick to thrive inside.

This year, Warrick has had more difficulty scoring because guards Billy Edelin and Josh Pace both lack range and teams are doubling Warrick more. The addition of McCroskey, who went 1-3 from downtown, should help Syracuse open up its offense.

"We need someone else that can make shots from the perimeter if we're going to be a successful team," Boeheim said. "We don't need to make a lot, but we need to make some."

Said McCroskey: "I'm not just a shooter, but I can shoot. I can fill that void."

Too much power?

The sparkling performances of Roberts and Matt Gorman tonight creates a dilemma for Boeheim. Three quality power forwards – only 40 minutes of playing time to dole out.

Roberts was an immediate lift off the bench for the Orangemen, leading Syracuse in scoring with 12 points in just 14 minutes. Roberts also grabbed five rebounds.

"I rebounded well and did simple things," Roberts said. "I got out there and was effective with my minutes."

Gorman was also effective in limited minutes, scoring eight points in 13 minutes.

"We've got three guys at the four that are pretty darn good," Boeheim said.

The problem now, is how Boeheim will decide to play Gorman, Roberts and Warrick, widely considered to be the team's best player. If Gorman and Roberts keep up their performances, Boeheim might consider using junior Hakim Warrick at the small forward spot.

But playing Warrick at small forward has its problems, Boeheim said.

"Hakim, when he was at (small forward) tonight, had 10 opportunities where he could've gone for a rebound and never went, because he's at the three and on the perimeter," Boeheim said. "That takes our best inside rebound and best player away from us."

Notes and Quotes:

Syracuse will play its next eight games at home starting with Manhattan, Dec. 17. Tip off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. … Walk-ons Ronneil Herron and Andrew Kouwe both got into the game. Herron put back a Kouwe miss for his first points of the season. … "We're not going to beat anyone bad, unless we can schedule some Division Four team." – Boeheim on if Syracuse will crush any other teams.

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