Syracuse guard Buddy Boeheim, son of coach coach Jim Boeheim, doesn’t have a reputation as a dirty player. But it’s impossible to defend one moment from the guard early in today’s ACC tournament blowout win over Florida State.
Midway through the first half, after a made three-pointer by Syracuse’s Joe Girard, Boeheim paused as he turned up the court and caught Wyatt Wilkes with a blow to the mid-section. No foul was called on the play, but pretty clear video was caught of the incident.
Boeheim would go on to score 14 points as the Orange drubbed the Seminoles, 96–57.
“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,” Boeheim said in a statement released after the game. “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 statement comes as the ACC looks into the play ahead of Syracuse’s game against Duke tomorrow. After what may have been the worst regular season of Jim Boeheim’s 45-year stint as Syracuse head coach, the Orange (16–16) likely need to win the ACC tournament to reach the NCAA tournament.
That is a tall order with Duke on the horizon, after the Blue Devils won the teams’ two regular season matchups by 45 total points. If Boeheim, a first-team All-ACC player and the league’s leading scorer, is suspended after the league’s review, it may be close to impossible.
After the game, Jim Boeheim said that the punch would have likely resulted in a flagrant 1 foul, but he doesn’t believe his son will be suspended after the league’s review.
“I saw the play, the kid pushed him twice,” the senior Boeheim said per the Associated Press. “I think it was inadvertent. It wasn’t much of a punch.”
Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton wasn’t too worked up about the play after the game either, praising Buddy Boeheim’s character outside of today’s incident.
“I don’t want anything to take away from how well they played and what type of fine young man he is,” Hamilton continued. “The game is physical. We expect guys to go out and bang and be aggressive. If something inadvertently happens sometimes we want to categorize it in one way or another.”
“I’ve lost my composure sometimes. I’ve made some mistakes.”
Syracuse, the No. 9 seed in the ACC, looks to keep its season alive against top-seeded Duke at 12 p.m. ET on Thursday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
More College Basketball Coverage: