I start my OSHA 30 training in the morning. It’s a requirement at the new company I work for within the first year. I look forward to it the same way I look forward to a visit from Jehovah’s witness’s during a football Sunday, or a burning sensation when I piss. Those are the worst three visits. OSHA 30, Jehovah’s Witnesses on a football Sunday and the clap.
I thought about walking into work tomorrow morning and taking a knee in protest, but I would probably be fired for that nonsense.
I have been with my current company about five months. It took me a while to get used to the position, the people around me and the processes required with the new position. As I am driving home on I40 East around Raleigh this evening (and by driving I mean parked on I40 as some fucking idiot causes another accident because they had a notification from Facebook, from a friend posting another anti-Trump meme that had to be seen while traveling 85 mph in rush hour traffic and rear ended some poor soul) I was trying to think about what my next post on the blog would be. Gerry McNamara came to mind. For what reason I don’t know. I had tossed around the idea about writing about the possibly fantastic 2018 class they are putting together, but didn’t really know how to go about it. Then it hit me like an oppressed millionaire linebacker.
Gerry McNamara just needed a little time to get comfortable.
McNamara came to Syracuse in a staff capacity in 2009 as a graduate manager. At the conclusion of the Bernie Fine debacle in 2011, he replaced Fine on staff and became a full bird Assistant Coach. By that time it had already been four years since Mike Hopkins had been tabbed as Coach Boeheim’s eventual successor. Fast forward to 2017, Jim Boeheim is still the coach in northern New York and Hopkins has now been waiting for ten years. Lorenzo Romar, who was somehow still employed at UW, is mercifully put down after walking around on broken legs for five seasons, and Hopkins is offered the position. On March 19, 2017 he becomes the new Head Coach of the Washington Huskies. Hopkins, known as a very good recruiter, left a sizeable void on the Syracuse staff.
Last fall, Philadelphia point guard Quade Green was ready to sign his letter of intent. It was going to be Syracuse. It was always going to be Syracuse. Even guys like me, who know less than nothing when it comes to recruiting, knew it was Syracuse.
It wasn’t Syracuse.
It was Kentucky. How does that guy do it? Well, let’s wait a few weeks and maybe we will find out, shall we?
Green was a G-Mac recruit. But, hey, shit happens right? Fast forward to this spring and the hits just kept on coming. Jordan Tucker, a 6’7 shooting guard from NYC playing at Wheeler HS in GA, supposedly gives a “hush hush” verbal to the Syracuse staff while on his official visit on 4/7/17. It was assumed that after Tuckers unofficial visit to Georgia Tech in May that it would be officially official. Possibly even Facebook official. Then all hell broke loose. On May 6th, Kevin Knox shocked most recruiting pundits by choosing to attend Kentucky over Duke. On May 7th, Duke offered Tucker, who had long been known to covet their offering. He visited on May 10th and committed on the 13th.
Just for good measure, Cole Swider, a top 50 recruit in the 2017 class, also chose to go elsewhere, choosing Villanova over Syracuse, Xavier and Duke. He was more than likely an Autry recruit, but I couldn’t confirm that. I through it in there because it fit the narrative.
I am a frequenter of message boards, many times the fans have a better pulse of what’s going on than you can get from the talking heads. That’s how I picked up on the Taurean Thompson drama before he transferred. The people on the boards knew.
During the summer, there were some rumblings. Maybe McNamara wasn’t allowed to drink the coffee. Coffee, after all, is for closers. Could he pick up the slack left by Hopkins? In the last couple of weeks I think he has answered with an emphatic “Yes.” In September the Orange signed 3 star guard from the 2019 class Brycen Goodine, and just over a week ago, they landed the prize, their #1 priority recruit, PG Jalen Carey. Combine those victories with keeping transfer Elijah Hughes committed to the Orange after Hopkins blew town and McNamara has proven that he is capable.
I suspect Boeheim will coach the next five seasons. When Buddy Boeheim (a 3 star guard recruit committed to Syracuse’ 2018 class) is done I think he will be done. That is based on nothing more than the fact that it makes sense given his age and the logic behind him wanting to coach his boy. If McNamara is able to keep up his momentum from this year and bring in guys like Jalen Lecque or Khalif Battle, it will go a long way to sending Boeheim out with a bang, and maybe, just maybe, one more Final Four run.