What’s on the menu and who’s cooking when Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim hosts recruits at his home? (Mike’s mailbox)

Syracuse, NY ― Syracuse’s basketball coaches have been hosting a number of high school recruits on official visits in recent weeks.

A few of the recruits summed up their visits for reporters and mentioned that they ate dinner at Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim’s home.

That led to an intriguing question from a reader who wanted to know more about those dinners at the Boeheim’s.

There we start with this week’s Mike’s Mailbox.

Q: When Coach Boeheim entertains recruits and their families for dinner at his house, who cooks?

Marc S.

Mike: When Syracuse’s coaches receive a recruit on an official campus visit, they usually take the recruit and his family to a local restaurant for dinner. If possible, they will also invite the recruit and his family to dinner at the Boeheim household. Usually the whole team goes to these get-togethers.

I asked Juli Boeheim about the family dinners and this was her answer:

“Good question! I wish I could say I cooked everything, but it’s more than I can handle! It’s a large group of over 40s, so we managed it without servers.

“The food is brought and we set everything up, etc. That keeps it all in the family!

“We also had a food truck, which is fun and super easy for me! The (coaches) women help with homemade desserts and I make a few side dishes! Always so nice to welcome the recruits here to our house and welcome the team!”

As for the menu, Juli said she uses several local restaurants and a variety of meals.

“Barbeque is very popular,” she said. “We also did Italian. We try to offer a wide variety of options including salmon and lamb chops. I make a side dish – spoon bread. It’s a southern cornbread that the boys love.

“Desserts are usually brownies, cookies, cupcakes, and Katie McNamara makes a popular Oreo and pudding dessert.”

Ryan Blackwell

Ryan Blackwell transferred to Syracuse from the University of Illinois. He believes the NCAA should allow players who transfer to play right away and not sit out for a year. Photo by Stephen D. Cannerelli | The post-standard

Q: Which transfer to Syracuse scored the most career points for Syracuse?

Bill N.

Mike: Syracuse has had some outstanding players who started their college careers in other schools. Four have reached the 1,000 point club in just their time in Syracuse.

The first to do so was Leo Rautins, who scored 1,031 in his three years with Syracuse after moving from Minnesota.

Most recently, Elijah Hughes scored 1,075 in just two years at Syracuse following his transfer from East Carolina.

Michael Gbinije spent a year at Duke and then moved on to Syracuse, where he scored 1,144 points in three years.

But the player who scored the most points at Syracuse after his transfer was Ryan Blackwell. After spending his freshman year in Illinois, Blackwell transferred to Syracuse, where he played from 1997 to 2000. In those three years, Blackwell achieved 1,175 points.

Q: I was wondering what happens to student athletes who enter the transfer portal in the middle of the semester. An athlete leaves one institution and transfers to another school what happens to his study progress. Will the original school take a hit for academic progress?

Kathy S.

Mike: Given the timing, I’m sure this question was sent in with the recent decision by Syracuse football player Taj Harris to seek a transfer. But the mid-year transition can happen in almost any sport, so it’s worth answering here.

When a player announces that he (or she) will be transferring halfway through the semester, they almost always finish the semester.

This benefits the player, the school he leaves and the school he eventually attends. If it helps the athlete to remain academically fit. If it helps the current school, because by leaving with a good academic record, the transfer will not negatively affect the team’s APR. And, of course, it helps the school the athlete ends up going to because he can play right away if he’s academically eligible.

Syracuse basketball vs.  St Bonaventure

Syracuse’s Tyus Battle changes direction in an attempt to shake the defenses of St. Bonaventure’s Kyle Lofton at the Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY, Saturday, December 29, 2018. Scott Schild | sschild@syracuse.com Scott Schild | sschild@syracuse.

Q: My question to you is a personal question for me. I am currently a student at St. Bonaventure. I’d love to see Syracuse play the Bonnies before I graduate in 2023. Why doesn’t Boeheim play against them? Is he afraid of losing like a few years ago? It seems that both teams are benefiting.


Mike: St. Bonaventure is not on Syracuse’s schedule for the 2021-22 season, but when you look at both teams’ schedules, it’s easy to see why they aren’t playing this season. And it’s not because Jim Boeheim is afraid of the Bonnies.

Syracuse will play the Battle 4 Atlantis from November 24-26. St. Bonaventure is in the Charleston Classic from November 18-21. That gives them two or three early games to prepare for those tournaments in the season.

After the Bahamas, Syracuse has to play Indiana in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on November 30. After that, Syracuse travels to the state of Florida for an ACC game. Games against former Big East rivals Villanova at Madison Square Garden and Georgetown in Washington DC follow.

St. Bonaventure also has neutral court games with UConn and Virginia Tech in mid-December.

In addition, both teams have conference matches for New Years. In addition, they each have annual non-conference games — Syracuse with Colgate and Cornell, St. Bonaventure with Buffalo and Canisius — which are important to both schools.

There was simply no room for a game between the Orange and Bonnies this season. Maybe next year, because it’s good to continue the Upstate New York rivalry.

Contact Mike Waters at any time: email | Twitter


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