Syracuse basketball head coach Jim Boeheim hasn't spoken to the national media this year, even though, his No. 2-ranked squad is 26-1 and one of the two best teams in the country. However, Boeheim broke his silence Wednesday to talk about Jeremy Lin, Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks, as he joined a panelist of analysts on ESPN's mid-day show Outside The Lines: First Report.
More on what Boeheim said about Jeremy Lin, Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks after the jump...
Boeheim, who was one of four panelists that included former Knicks head coach Jeff Van Gundy, NBA columnist Jackie McCullough and NBA expert/personality Steven A. Smith, was asked about Lin and how Anthony will transition into the Knicks' lineup when he returns from a groin injury.
"I see a seamless transition," said Boeheim.
"For somebody to assert that Carmelo Anthony can't play with somebody is the most ridiculous thing that I've ever heard," commented Boeheim who coached Anthony and won a National Championship with him at Syracuse in 2002-03 and a few summers ago on the gold-medal winning USA Olympic men's basketball. "I've heard a few now, but of all the statements I've ever heard that's the most ridiculous.
"He won a national championship, he had 10 points in a game on the way to the Final Four and was one of the happest guys in the locker room after the game. He's won a gold medal in the Olympics when he was playing with Kobe (Bryant), Lebron (James) and all those guys and he fit in like a glove. So, I don't see any question that when Carmelo comes back he will help the Knicks get better."
On Monday after Syracuse's 52-51 victory over Louisville, Boeheim admitted to having no life that allows him to watch a lot of basketball, so he weighed in on the Lin situation.
"I've watched three or four of his games, and I am telling you he looks like a real good player," said Boeheim. "If you didn't know who he was, or where he was; to watch his game, I mean, he's going by people, making shots from the perimeter, he's finishing, I think averaging eight assists a game."
"Six games is a little too soon to judge what this guy is going to be," continued Boeheim, "but based on his six games, how many guys have started six games like that? Or, even looking at a Chris Paul or Deron Williams, how may times did they have six games in a row like this? So, its pretty special. Probably with Amar'e (Stoudemire) back and Carmelo coming back, I think he'd be more of a facilitator, but by the same token, with those two guys back there's more space for him to get into the lane because (teams) are going to guard those two guys.
Boeheim then spoke about the Knicks as a whole:
"I watch them a lot, I like the Knicks, I like to follow them, always have," said Boeheim. "They need more shooting, (Steve) Novak has given them a big, big lift and they still need better inside play, but its getting there. Tyson Chandler is doing a great job and with Amar'e back, I think this can be a very physical front-line team and they needed a point guard, it looks like they've got'em. They need somebody else that can knock down some shots, I think, but they can be right in the hunt."