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How fitting that Scoop Jardine would end Syracuse’s season

Mar 20, 2011, 10:13 PM EST

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Down a hobbled Brandon Triche when he was needed most, Jim Boeheim had to rely on Scoop Jardine to handle the ball and serve as the primary playmaker late against Marquette.

It didn’t go well.

One of the most confident – for better or worse – players in all of college basketball, Jardine’s eyes lit up at the opportunity to play savior for the Orange this evening. But as we’ve seen from him for much of the season, nobody ever has a better shot than Jardine’s, and his feast or famine play doomed Syracuse as they were upset by the Golden Eagles in dramatic fashion, 66-62.

Finishing with only six points on 2-8 shooting, Jardine took it upon himself to disregard all four of his teammates on the floor with 19 seconds remaining. Down three but in a great position to force overtime, Jardine hastily brought the ball up the court, dribbled to the top of the key, and instead of maybe looking for an open teammate or continuing to the basket to draw defenders, he jacked up a contested three in transition.  The three was off, way off, and there was likely a much better option (Dion Waters, maybe???) to keep Syracuse in the game.

We’ve seen this anxious attempt to play hero from Jardine a few times this season, most notably against UConn last weekend in the Big East semifinals. Sure he made a clutch three to send the game to overtime, but that only perpetuated him to think “shoot first” in the extra session. You know how that game ended.

As Jim Boeheim ages, he’s become more of an easily irritable curmudgeon. You gotta think that his sharp tone with the media is nothing to what he either says or thinks when it comes to Scoop. For fans, it’s no less contentious. Just a quick surf over to Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician, and words like “poison” and phrases like “addition by subtraction” follow Scoop’s name.

I’m not saying Scoop Jardine is a bad basketball player, he’s just not a very smart one.

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  1. avermaver - Mar 21, 2011 at 2:49 AM

    Pretty harsh criticism coming from a writer who makes a living off the exploits of college students.

  2. Matt Lembke - Mar 21, 2011 at 9:15 PM

    Dear Mr. Fasulo:

    I find it reprehensible that a journalist for a major media outlet – or any media outlet, for that matter – would single-out a 22 year old student-athlete and criticize him as you have done with Scoop Jardine. I have watched just about every minute of every game Scoop has played for Syracuse in his college career. What I have observed is young man who plays his heart out for his team, his school, and SU’s fans every time he steps on the court. Yes, Scoop makes mistakes. They are often magnified because he is playing among elite college athletes at the highest level of competition. But you know what, in the end, that’s not what matters. What matters is that he is in the arena putting his talents, and his heart, on the line. That takes courage.

    What you do takes no courage. You put nothing on the line. You are not in the arena. You watch young men like Scoop on TV, or in a court side seat, and criticize them for human failings that occur in nearly every athletic competition at any level. It’s mind boggling to me, that you would write such a article.

    I noticed that it does not appear that you singled out any other individual player for criticism – as you have done with Scoop – in any of the articles that appear on this blog.

    And, incidentally, the name of your own blog – Searching for Billy Edelin – is, in my opinion, classless in the extreme.

    You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

    Matt Lembke
    Rochester NY

    • Nick Fasulo - Mar 21, 2011 at 10:00 PM

      I find it naive of you to think that I am in the minority when it comes to my assessment of Scoop.

      Click around, Google his name; even diehard Orange fans can’t stand this guy. How is that more acceptable than what I have published?

      • Matt Lembke - Mar 21, 2011 at 11:07 PM

        Dear Mr. Fasulo:

        I do not – for one minute – think you are in the minority when it comes to your assessment of Scoop. Nor did I say that. I read SU basketball blogs. I realize that many SU fans who write on those blogs dislike (and in some cases despise) Scoop’s play. They’re entitled to their opinion – as are you. But they are not professional journalists. Comments by Orange fans on, for example, a Syracuse.com blog is different (I think, by many orders of magnitude) from a professional sports journalist writing a feature article on a blog hosted by a major media outlet.

        And whether or not diehard Orange fans can or cannot stand “this guy” has nothing to do with anything. That does not change the fact that your decision to publish this type of article was, in my opinion, a bad one.

        Look, if that’s the type of journalist you want to be – one who takes shots at a young man who experiences some failure while giving everything he has in the heat of intense competition to help his team succeed – then, by all means, knock yourself out.

        I think it’s poor form, to say the least.

        It would be different, certainly, if we were talking about a professional athlete who is paid millions of dollars to perform. But that’s not the case here.

        If you’re proud of your decision to publish this article, then I guess that’s all that matters. I, for one, would much rather read a positive article about a player than a hatchet job on a guy who tried his best and gave his all, but came up short.

        I think you should lay off Scoop. But that’s just me.

        Matt Lembke

    • daviericky - Mar 21, 2011 at 11:03 PM

      Looks like Matt Lembke hasn’t had his weekly hot enema.

  3. jsullivanjr - Mar 22, 2011 at 10:24 PM

    Nice article, mirrors what all my friends and I have been thinking (all SU alums) . For any Critics – it’s college basketball, he didn’t just criticize an 8 year old in a youth league (though i think an 8 year old knows he can go backcourt on an inbounds instead of traveling at half court trying to avoid it, and inadvertently drawing attention). Scoop has one of the lowest basketball I.Q’s in the Big East (he’s a junior after all, not a freshman). And he has off court issues to match the bravado that lets him think he’s the answer for a team with at least 4 legitimately better/more consistent options (3, i suppose, with Triche sidelined in that particular game).

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