Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim has tried to stroll again comments that appeared crucial of Duke freshman Jalen Johnson, who elected to forgo the Blue Devils’ last six regular-season video games and as a substitute put together for the NBA draft.
Boeheim commented on Johnson’s determination throughout his weekly radio present Thursday, saying the previous five-star recruit was “hurting” his staff and that his absence really helped Duke to 2 wins. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and teammates have supported Johnson’s choices, main many to pan Boeheim’s comments; ESPN analyst Jay Bilas, as an example, known as them “inappropriate.”
Following the backlash, Boeheim on Saturday tried to make clear his assertion: What he supposed by his comments, Boeheim stated, was that Duke was merely taking part in its finest ball all season within the game-and-a-half he watched after Johnson opted out.
“This is no dispersion, casting dispersion on Jalen Johnson,” Boeheim stated. I have not even seen Jalen Johnson play this 12 months, to be sincere. He’s an amazing participant. Probably be a fantastic professional. I simply made the commentary, my opinion, that I believed they performed higher with out him in these two video games. Jay Bilas stated I stated they’re a greater staff with out him, completely. I did not say that. I did not imply to say that.
“Just in those two games, game and a half, they were a better team than I’ve seen this year. Nothing against Jalen Johnson. Some people have said he shouldn’t have left school — I didn’t say that. Some people have said he’s not thinking about his team — I didn’t say that. I don’t even know Jalen Johnson, I really haven’t seen him that much, I don’t even know how good he is and Duke could be better if he was back. We’ll not know that because he didn’t come back.”
MORE: Bilas blasts Boeheim’s ‘inappropriate’ comments on Johnson
Below are Boeheim’s authentic comments on Johnson (by way of Syracuse.com).
“That guy was hurting them so they actually are much better now without him. He was just doing some things and keeping other people from playing that are good. They’ve had two monster wins since he’s opted out and they’re playing good basketball. They’ve got very good talent. You knew they were going to play out of this thing and now they’re playing well. Every game we play is a very difficult game, a great challenge and we look forward to it.”
Regardless of Boeheim’s intent, it is in all probability finest apply to not remark on different groups’ gamers, particularly in a way that might be construed as unfavourable. This is not the primary time he has made these sorts of comments, saying Georgetown guard James Akinjo — who left this system in 2019 — “wouldn’t pass the ball to anybody.” Akinjo averaged 5.1 assists over 40 video games with the Hoyas.
Syracuse performs at Duke on Monday.