The Atlantic Coast Conference needs to suspend Syracuse’s Buddy Boeheim, the son of longtime Cuse head coach Jim Boeheim and the team’s leading scorer, for at least a game after he punched a Florida State player in the stomach during the second round of the conference tournament and didn’t even try to pretend it was an accident.
Up 25-10 on the Seminoles midway through the first half, Boeheim decided to jab Florida State’s Wyatt Wilkes in the ribs, making him double over. The game had to be stopped so Wilkes could be attended to. The play was not reviewed and no foul was called during the game.
Buddy Boeheim, who’s averaging 19.3 ppg to lead the Orange, made no attempt to apologize for his actions during the sequence, staring back at Wilkes and assessing the damage. His lack of remorse at the moment was intolerable. If your swing connecting with another player wasn’t intentional, own it. A mistake was made. Be a decent human being by checking on the guy you just caught with a right hand, accepted during a clinch in boxing, not on the hardwood.
Of course, Buddy’s jog to get back on defense is all the proof we need, distancing himself from the situation like nothing happened. Does he not understand how many cameras are focused on the court during any high-level college basketball game? The feed picked it up immediately, making him look even worse for not coming to Wilkes’ aid. During the broadcast, ESPN said the ACC will review the play to see if it’s a punishable offense for the Orange star, with a suspension looming for deliberately striking an opponent.
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No. 9-seed Syracuse’s 96-57 victory over Florida State sets up an ACC quarterfinal matchup against top-seed Duke, most likely the final matchup between Buddy’s father and retiring legendary Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. The Blue Devils have won 12 of the 17 games these two Hall of Famers coached against each other. After his son’s punch on Wednesday, Boeheim believes Buddy won’t be suspended for the team’s next game.
“The kid (Wilkes) pushed him twice and he swung around and hit him,” Jim Boeheim said. “I think it was inadvertent, but that’s OK.”
The younger Boeheim was not available to speak to reporters after the game, but the school released a statement from him.
“In the heat of today’s game, after some shoving in the lane, I swung my arm while turning to go back up the court,” Buddy Boeheim said. “It was wrong to act out in frustration. I apologized to Wyatt Wilkes multiple times in the handshake line. He said not to worry about it, but I know it was wrong. I pride myself in respecting the game and our opponent. I will not react that way again.”
The Orange are 16-16 on the season and need to win the ACC Tournament to play in the NCAA Tournament. Syracuse needs to take right to the gut here and be without it’s top scorer as it tries to sneak into the Tournament. That way, every player who didn’t punch someone in a game on Wednesday gets to play.