After being punished for hitting Florida State’s Wyatt Wilkes during Wednesday’s win, Syracuse star Buddy Boeheim will miss Thursday’s ACC Tournament quarterfinal game against Duke.
After a fight in the paint in the first half of their second-round match, Boeheim, the son of Orange coach Jim Boeheim, swung his arm into Wilkes’ gut. On the play, no foul was called.
Wilkes was ejected from the game, while Boeheim scored 14 points in the Orange’s 96-57 victory.
“I swung my arm while turning to head back up court in the intensity of today’s game, after some shoving in the lane,” Boeheim said in a statement afterward. “It was terrible to lash out in anger.” In the handshake line, I apologised to Wyatt Wilkes several times. He told me not to be concerned, but I knew I was mistaken. I take satisfaction in the fact that I respect the game and our opponent. I’m not going to react like that again.”
Syracuse will meet Duke for the third time this season, this time without the ACC’s leading scorer, who averaged 19.3 points per game.
The play was described as “inadvertent” by the elder Boeheim, who was repeated by Seminole’s coach Leonard Hamilton.
“In the ACC, there isn’t a better kid than Buddy Boeheim,” Hamilton remarked. “He’s a good child with a lot of character.” He’s a young man who, like everyone else, is competitive. I don’t want anything to detract from how wonderfully they performed or the kind of young guy he is. Because the game is so physical, you may expect guys to hit each other and be violent. When something unintentionally occurs, we often wish to characterise it in one of two ways.
“I’ve lost my cool on occasion and made blunders. If there is anyone in this room who hasn’t done so, please raise your hand. I’m familiar with his family, his mother, and Jim. I’m quite aware of the type of child he is. We’re going to move on and let the information we need to speak about in relation to this game be how good they performed.”
After the game, the two players were spotted talking to each other, with Boeheim smiling as he walked away.
For ninth-seeded Syracuse, Cole Swider had 28 points and 13 rebounds in 28 minutes, while Joe Girard contributed 16 points.
Syracuse moved up by double digits with 10:52 left in the first half, thanks to an 11-0 run that included eight consecutive points by Swider. During the run, the Orange hit three straight 3-pointers, one of which was made by Girard, and lead 49-26 at halftime, thanks to Swider’s 20 points and nine rebounds.
Midway through the first half, Florida State missed eight consecutive shots and finished the half with a 12 of 38 shooting percentage, including 1 of 13 from 3-point range. The Seminoles only made one of their first 15 shots in the second half, which included a string of ten consecutive misses.
With 7:32 left, a Jimmy Boeheim dunk off an assist from Buddy Boeheim put Syracuse up 81-41.
Syracuse (16-16) won by the second-largest margin of victory in a conference tournament game in programme history, thanks to Jimmy Boeheim’s 12 points.
Swider was 9 of 15 from the field, including 4 of 6 from distance, for his second-highest scoring game of the season. He had 2, 36, and 6 points in his previous three games. Buddy Boeheim added three 3-pointers to Girard’s four.
The Seminoles (17-14) had only 16 points from their starters through the first 29 minutes, trailing 70-34.
Last year, Buddy Boeheim’s quick shooting helped the Orange reach the NCAA Sweet 16 and earned him the nickname “Buddy Buckets.” He was chosen first-team all-ACC this season.
This season, Syracuse has lost both of its matchups with No. 7 Duke, the first by 20 points on the road and the second by 25 points at home.