Syracuse coach Boeheim impressed by freshman class, including his own Print
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Tuesday, 20 November 2007 14:49
NCAAB Headline News


 NEW YORK (AP) -Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim has been around for a long time and he's never seen such a talented group of freshmen around the country.
He's glad he has two of them in Jonny Flynn and Donte Greene.
M will meet Washington in the other semifinal.
``This is the best group of freshmen I've seen in all the years of coaching by far,'' Boeheim said. ``There are more physically ready players then I've ever seen.''
Flynn set the freshman school-scoring record with 28 points in Syracuse's win over Siena in the NIT opener. He surpassed the record set by Carmelo Anthony at the start of the Orange's championship season four years ago.
Flynn also hit a tiebreaking 3 to help the Orange (3-0) get past Saint Joseph's and advance to New York. Greene scored 25 points in the Orange's win over Fordham.
``These freshmen are going to have a huge impact. The best players in the country are freshmen,'' Boeheim said. ``If I were picking the top 10 players in the country, six of them are freshmen.''
Syracuse's opponent had two stellar freshmen of its own last year in Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr. The duo led Ohio State to the NCAA championship game before leaving for the NBA, leaving coach Thad Matta with a young, inexperienced team led by freshman Kosta Koufos.
``It's tough sometimes. We have four guys who have played college basketball before,'' Matta said. ``The process is going to take some time. Our guys are so young that we had to show them how to put their keys in the hotel room door.''
Ohio State (2-0) beat Wisconsin-Green Bay and Columbia to advance to New York.
M after guiding Wichita State for the past seven seasons. The Aggies (4-0) survived Oral Roberts and UTEP to reach the NIT semifinals.
``It's a chance to see where we are on a national stage as part of a really good field,'' Turgeon said.
He too has been impressed with the freshman talent in college basketball.
``There are a lot of really good young kids. It's the nature of the game right now,'' Turgeon said. ``Syracuse has some, Ohio State has some. We have one in DeAndre Jordan. There's a lot out in this country and they are making a big impact.''
Turgeon is no stranger to the Preseason NIT. He led Kansas to New York as a player in the inaugural tournament in 1985, where the Jayhawks fell to Duke in the championship game.
``The kids are excited to be here,'' Turgeon said. ``We get a chance to play in this special arena where some of the best basketball players have played. Let's make it a week that we'll always remember.''
Washington (3-0) hasn't been to Madison Square Garden in more than six decades. The Huskies' lone trip was a 72-38 victory over New York University on Dec. 30, 1941.
``We are fired up to be here,'' said Washington coach Lorenzo Romar, whose team advanced with victories over New Jersey Tech and Utah. ``It's an opportunity that our guys might not see again.''
 

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