Reading between the lines, it does not sound like Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim is overly optimistic about senior center Arinze Onuaku returning from his thigh injury for the Sweet 16. With Onuaku out, Syracuse uses 7-foot freshman DaShonte Riley as the backup in the post to 6-foot-9 Rick Jackson.
In answer to a question about what the team needs to do to keep advancing, Boeheim said: “We got a couple more days with DaShonte to give him some good practice time. And get him up to speed a little bit more, if we can."
Meanwhile: You never can keep a coach totally satisfied. Despite playing close to home this weekend, this was Boeheim on having to play Thursday (rather than Friday) in the Sweet 16: “I think it’s a tough turn-around for us," he said. “We have to go a long ways. It’s always tough. … They did us no favors, having to go there and play Thursday."
Boeheim was not surprised by Kansas' loss. Said the coach: “The problem with college basketball is there’s not a big gap. Everybody wants to make it seem like it’s a big gap. It’s not a big gap. … There’s no doubt in my mind that yesterday Northern Iowa was better than Kansas. Northern Iowa made four or five bad turnovers at the end of the game or it would have been a 10-point game."