Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim won his 900th career game on Monday night against Detroit, making him one of only three men’s Division I coaches with more than 900 career victories. The other two are Mike Krzyzewski (936) and Bob Knight (902).
West Virginia coach Bob Huggins has witnessed first-hand Boeheim’s success, both as a West Virginia player facing Boeheim’s Syracuse teams in the mid-1970s and also sitting across the scorer’s table matching wits against him as a head coach.
“You’ve got to be really old (to get 900 victories),” Huggins joked.
True, but you’ve also got to be really good at what you do, too.
“What he’s done is incredible,” said Huggins. “He was coaching when I played there and you had to walk across the dirt to get on to the floor at old Manley Field House. They go to the Final Four with Louie Orr, who they sign in August, and Roosevelt Bouie, who, if what they said is true, the tallest person he played against his whole high school career was his sister.”
Boeheim replaced Roy Danforth in 1976 and hit the ground running at Syracuse, leading the Orangemen (as they were known back then) to a 26-4 record and an NCAA tournament Sweet 16 appearance in his rookie season. He won at least 20 games in 18 out of his first 19 seasons at Syracuse, including 14 NCAA tournament trips in his first 16 years there.
Overall, Boeheim’s teams have made 29 NCAA tournament appearances, captured an NCAA title in 2003 and reached the Final Four three times while winning 20 games on an annual basis. Now 68, Boeheim currently has his team halfway to 20 victories once again this year with a 10-0 record following Monday night’s 72-68 win over Detroit.
Boeheim has also won his fair share of games against West Virginia, his Syracuse teams beating the Mountaineers 22 out of 28 times, including winning 13 out of the last 14 while the two schools were still in the Big East before West Virginia's switch to the Big 12 this season.
John Beilein, now coaching the nation’s third-ranked team at Michigan, went winless in six tries against Boeheim during his WVU tenure, his Mountaineer teams frequently absorbing blowout losses to them, especially in the Carrier Dome.
And I recall Gale Catlett, in response to Boeheim critics who sometimes say his success has come solely on the basis of recruiting great players, once telling me, “All you hear about is that he’s got all of these great players, but guess what, he gets into that damned zone defense that no one can seem to figure out and his best players always shoot the ball. To me, that’s great coaching,” Catlett said.
That’s a great point.
Huggins, nine years younger than Boeheim and just 186 wins off of Boeheim’s current pace, has been impressed with Boeheim’s long and impressive record.
“He’s done a great job and he’s done it a lot of different ways,” noted Huggins.
And so has Huggins. Perhaps down the line Huggs may one day be staring at 900 victories as well.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia takes on Oakland Wednesday night at the WVU Coliseum in a game that will be televised nationally on ESPNU. Tipoff is 9 p.m.Game Information
DATE: Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012
LOCATION: WVU Coliseum (14,000) in Morgantown, W.Va.
TIPOFF: 9:00 p.m.
SERIES: WVU leads 1-0
TV: ESPNU (Dave O’Brien and Bruce Pearl)
RADIO: MSN (40 affiliates) Tony Caridi, Jay Jacobs and Kyle Wiggs
OFFICIALS: Announced on game dayGame Notes
• Wednesday night's game against Oakland begins a four-game homestand for the Mountaineers. The game will be televised nationally by ESPNU. The MSN Radio broadcast can be heard on Sirius 123 and XM 199.
• Fans can purchase a special $10 holiday ticket by visiting WVUGAME.com.
• WVU began the season playing seven of its first nine away from home. Now, WVU will play four of its next five at home.
• West Virginia is 61-14 in the WVU Coliseum under Bob Huggins, including a 32-13 mark in league games at home.
• WVU is 470-134 (.778) all-time at the WVU Coliseum and 91-17 at the WVU Coliseum in the last eight seasons.
• Under Bob Huggins in the WVU Coliseum, WVU is averaging 75.9 ppg, while holding its opponents to 61.3 ppg.
• WVU’s average margin of victory at the WVU Coliseum under Bob Huggins is +14.6.
• West Virginia is 62-3 at home against non-conference teams in the last 10 years, including 43 of its last 44.
• The Mountaineers have won 47 of their last 48 games at home in the month of December.
• West Virginia is playing its first season in the Big 12 Conference in 2012-13. The Mountaineers were members of the Big East Conference for the previous 17 seasons.
• The Mountaineers have three transfers on the roster in 2012-13. Junior center Aaric Murray
led La Salle in scoring (15.2), rebounding (7.7) and blocks (2.3) in 2010-11. Sophomore guard Juwan Staten
led the Atlantic 10 in assists with 190 as a freshman at Dayton in 2010-11. Senior guard Matt Humphrey
has one year left after transferring from Boston College, where he was second on the team in scoring at 10.3 points per game.
• WVU has won 86 of its last 107 games against unranked teams, including 43 of its last 47 at the WVU Coliseum.
• West Virginia is 56-16 in non-conference regular season games under Bob Huggins, including a 29-1 mark at home.
• West Virginia is 87-22 against non-conference teams in regular season games in the last nine seasons.
• WVU has won 75 of its last 96 non-conference games and 80 of its last 102 non-league contests (includes postseason).
• Bob Huggins recorded win No. 700 against Missouri State on Dec. 22, 2011. Huggins became the 20th Division I head coach to win 700 career games. Huggins’ record now stands at 714-272 in his 31st season as a head coach. He recently passed Denny Crum for 20th place on the NCAA Division I all-time winningest coaches list. Next on the list is Don Haskins, who had 719 wins during his career. Only two active coaches have won more games (Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim).
• Sixty-three of Bob Huggins’ 124 victories have been away from the WVU Coliseum.
• West Virginia has made at least one 3-point field goal in 432 consecutive games. The last time WVU did not make a 3-point field goal was against Robert Morris on Nov. 27, 1999.
• WVU is predicted to finish sixth in the Big 12 Conference poll. In eight of the last 10 seasons, the Mountaineers have finished higher or equal to their preseason prediction.
• WVU made its ninth straight postseason appearance last year: 2012 NCAA Second Round, 2011 NCAA Third Round, 2010 NCAA Final Four, 2009 NCAA First Round, 2008 NCAA Sweet 16, 2007 NIT champions, 2006 NCAA Sweet 16, 2005 NCAA Elite Eight and 2004 NIT Second Round.
• It was WVU’s fifth straight NCAA appearance and seventh in the last eight seasons. In the year the Mountaineers didn’t make the NCAA tournament (2007), they won the NIT.
• Bob Huggins has led WVU to the NCAA championship in each of his first five seasons. The last time WVU made five consecutive NCAA appearances was from 1955-60, when the Mountaineers went six consecutive years to the NCAA tourney.
• West Virginia has won 60 of its last 71 games when holding its opponents to 69 points or less.
• West Virginia is 36-0 under Bob Huggins when shooting 50 percent or better from the field.
• West Virginia is 101-20 under Bob Huggins when leading at halftime.
• West Virginia is 108-12 under Bob Huggins when leading by 10 or more points in a game.
• West Virginia is 100-5 under Bob Huggins when posting a higher shooting percentage than its opponent.
• West Virginia has won 68 of its last 79 games when scoring 70 or more points in a game.
• The Mountaineers are 91-14 under Bob Huggins when scoring 70 or more points in a game.
• West Virginia is 104-24 under Bob Huggins when outrebounding its opponent.
• This is the 104th season and 110th year overall for West Virginia basketball, which began in 1903. The Mountaineers own a 1,625-1,010 all-time record in intercollegiate basketball competition, ranking WVU 21st among all Division I schools.
• West Virginia has allowed its opponent to shoot 50 percent or better only 30 times under Bob Huggins (185 games).
• Bob Huggins has wins over 20 ranked teams since he has been the head coach at West Virginia, including eight over a Top-10 ranked team in the last five seasons.
• Twenty-four of the last 25 senior members of the men’s basketball team have graduated on time or early since 2004.
• WVU is 14-9 all-time on Dec. 19. The Mountaineers are 365-154 all-time in the month of December.