Syracuse played without the ACC’s leading scorer in its ACC tournament quarterfinal loss to Duke on Thursday and Orange coach Jim Boeheim said the league as a whole, and the game officials in particular, are to blame.
After Duke eliminated Syracuse, 88-79, at the Barclays Center, Boeheim said the one-game suspension his son, Buddy, received from the ACC for punching a Florida State player on Wednesday wouldn’t have happened if the officials working that game had handled it correctly.
“It should have been handled yesterday and it wasn’t,” Jim Boeheim said during a postgame press conference Thursday with his sons, Jimmy and Buddy, sitting to his left. “The league shouldn’t punish this guy. That makes no common sense to me.”
Buddy Boeheim, a senior guard named first-team, all-ACC this week, punched Florida State’s Wyatt Wilkes in the stomach during the first half of the Orange’s 96-57 win on Wednesday. The incident happened away from the ball and the game’s officials did not call anything during the game related to the play.
After the game, video clips of the play were rampant on social media. After a review, the ACC announced Wednesday night that Boeheim would serve a one-game suspension for Thursday’s game with Duke.
After the Duke game, Buddy Boeheim spoke publicly about the incident, offering an apology.
“I made a mistake,” Buddy Boeheim said. “I’ve been thinking about that play for the last 24 hours, to tell you the truth, over and over again why I did it. I think it was just the heat of the moment.”
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who is close friends with Jim Boeheim and their families are close as well, called the whole situation “unfortunate.” He, too, would have preferred the game officials had handled it on Wednesday.
“They had to do whatever they have to do,” Krzyzewski said of the ACC’s administration and the game officials. “I’m just saying that I was surprised that it was not reviewed during the game.”
Both Jim Boeheim and Krzyzewski felt the play would have resulted in a flagrant 2 foul, which would have meant Buddy Boeheim would have been ejected from that game. But he then could have played Thursday against Duke, barring any further discipline from the ACC.
“He actually got a harsher punishment than somebody who would have done that in a game,” Krzyzewski said. “So that’s unfortunate that that occurred.”