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Jim Boeheim tried to blame Syracuse’s quarantine for a lackluster performance and Jared Grasso is having none of it

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Syracuse beat Bryant by a point in the Carrier Dome

NCAA Basketball: Bryant at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

As long as we’re having college basketball right now — and you could certainly argue that we shouldn’t be — teams are going to have to adapt. With dozens nationwide either on pause or coming back from a COVID-19-induced shutdown, on-court hiccups are inevitable.

The Syracuse Orange, understandably, had one on Friday. The team paused activity on Nov. 16 when head coach Jim Boeheim tested positive, but was able to come back and play its season opener on Friday. That the Orange were only able to defeat Bryant by a point, 85-84, shouldn’t be too alarming, given the circumstances.

The Orange trailed by seven at halftime, leading a frustrated Boeheim to say this:

Forget for a second that their pause lasted 10 days, not 14 days. I actually don’t disagree with Boeheim here. I watched a good UConn team play a bad Central Connecticut team on Wednesday, five days removed from the Huskies’ own shutdown, and UConn looked disorganized in the first 20 minutes before getting it together and racing past the Blue Devils after that. It’s possible that Syracuse just wasn’t ready.

Except Bryant head coach Jared Grasso gave a completely different account of what happened leading up to the game.

Bill Koch from the Providence Journal did the lord’s work of putting Grasso’s full quote on Twitter:

Get. His. Ass.

You don’t get to use your quarantine as an excuse for not being ready to play if your opponent told you that you didn’t have to play. The Orange wanted to get on the court (who could blame them?) and probably thought they could shake off some rust against a team from the Northeast Conference. The Bulldogs were ready.

Adding to it, there’s this nifty thing called Google dot com that lets you find articles from the past so you can see what people were saying at different points in time. Here’s what Jim Boeheim said a week ago in an article on syracuse.com with the headline “Jim Boeheim on season opener against Bryant: We’ll be ready to play next Friday:”

“We’ll be ready to play next Friday,” he said in a phone conversation. “Our players are fine. They’re in great shape.”

Don’t make stuff up and say “they” (who is they? You’re the head coach and de facto God Of Syracuse Athletics) should have cancelled the game. You had that opportunity and chose not to. You really think Grasso would be asked about that after the game?

Boeheim has earned the reputation as a whiner over the last few years and this isn’t helping. Maybe he’ll go back to throwing his own players under the bus instead.