Boeheim, Pitino reflect on Smith’s legacy at North Carolina

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 9, 2015 at 2:35 pm Contact Jacob: [email protected] | @Jacob_Klinger_ After longtime North Carolina head coach Dean Smith died at 83 on Sunday, fellow Hall of Famers Jim Boeheim and his former assistant Rick Pitino joined in paying tribute to Smith.Both reflected on his innovation and Boeheim, when prompted, looked back on his first and only win against Smith. Pitino, who was Boeheim’s assistant at Syracuse from 1976-78, credited Smith for the advent of the “four corners” offense as well as his humility.“He was the best in our game, but you would never have known it in the way he carried himself,” Pitino said on Monday’s Atlantic Coast Conference coaches’ teleconference. “What always impressed me about him was the way he carried himself.“There was no internet, there was no Twitter, there was none of that — not that Coach Smith would ever have been tweeting. That’d be the last thing in the world he would ever do. But he just stuck out.”Boeheim, who went 1-3 in his career against Smith, got his first Final Four berth in his first win against the UNC great. In the 1987 Eastern Regional final, his second-seeded Orangemen beat Smith’s top-seeded Tar Heels, 79-75.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“They were a great team and we played a great game,” Boeheim said later on the teleconference. “We played one of the best games that we have ever played, really, in the final of the Eastern Regional.”Boeheim passed Smith as the winningest coach at a single school with his 880th win when the then-No. 2 Orange beat then-No. 12 Georgetown in overtime on Feb. 8, 2012.At the time, Boeheim said he was upset about the game – SU was outrebounded by 18 – and not concerned with the milestone. On Monday, though, he reflected on Smith’s legacy.“I think he’s one of the great, great coaches of all time, and he really established one of the best college basketball programs in the country,” Boeheim said. “Very innovative coach and way ahead of everybody else really in terms of his approach to basketball and the game, really. A giant in the game of college basketball.” Commentslast_img read more