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Redemption: College Hoops World Is Pimping Scoop Jardine This Summer

SU’s PG is bouncing from LeBron Camp to USA Hoops and loving every minute.

For all the flak that he tends to catch from the fans, Scoop Jardine has turned himself into a positive force for the SU basketball program on and off the court.

And don’t underrate that second accomplishment, considering what the guard from Philly once was.

Scoop, not too long ago, was nothing more than a giant distraction. A player that didn’t provide much on-court value, and whose personality and attitude were detrimental.

He had his share of legal problems, too. A sexual assault charge (he later joked about on Twitter) he was eventually exonerated from along with Rick Jackson and Jonny Flynn, and the infamous meal card mess that landed his cousin in jail and Jardine a suspension.

Fast forward a few years, and Scoop has transformed his game and his life. He’s now a team leader, and always holds himself accountable when his squad falters.

He’s spent the summer repping the Orange uniform admirably at elite-level camps. Confidence has never been something the point guard lacks, so it’s no surprise to hear that he’s fearlessly gone up against NBA-type talent.

ESPN analyst Jay Bilas shared his thoughts on the LeBron James Skills Academy in Akron, which Scoop attended with a lot of the country’s other top college and high school players. Bilas only singled out a few participants out of the one hundred in attendance, and Syracuse’s starting point guard was one of them. Fran Fraschilla also gave Scoop kudos by tweeting, “Solid first day at LeBron Skills Academy. Counselor drills were terrific and my guy @scoopjardine working hard. Big East well represented!”

Later this month, Jardine is set to play at the USA basketball training camp. Fans and commentators are sometimes uncomfortable placing him among the nation’s most talented college basketball players, but based on the camps he’s been touring this summer that’s exactly where Scoop belongs.

His efficiency on offense clearly declined this part season, but what will help next year is that he shouldn’t have to force as many shots. Though Scoop is often criticized for jacking up too many rushed attempts, he was a victim of an offense that had no one better to turn to as a go-to scorer. Next season, Kris Joseph should be ultra-motivated to become that scorer, and the rest of Scoop’s returning teammates will be a year older and more experienced. And unless things go horribly wrong, the 2011 freshman class should be much more impactful on offense than the 2010 one.

Is it possible for a Scoop Jardine-led team to make the Final Four? Many would say no. Be careful writing Scoop off though, because the notorious loose cannon has developed into a level-headed leader for the Orange.

Posted: Andrew Kanell


17 Comments on this Post

  1. cap2nine

    I’ve been much more of a Scoop critic than a fan but I appreciate this article for reminding me of the perspective and instilling in me some optimism for Scoops game this coming season. I know that I sometimes get so bent on the last game or the next game or wins, losses and stats that I forget that these guys are students and citizens living in the public eye. Scoop has dedicated himself to becoming a better man and that is a greater accomplishment than anything he will ever want to prove on the court. And, if he is learning from the past and from last season and applying himself to become a better player as well, I have no choice but to support him completely. I will burry my skepticism and I excitedly await the upcoming season. The ball is in your hands Scoop, run with it!

  2. Boston Jay

    I like Scoop…..but to me he’s our version of Tony Romo – a likeable, charismatic, popular QB who puts up good numbers but will always make the backbreaking mistake that keeps his team from making it to the promise land.

  3. I am delighted to see this article. It’s been really frustrating to listen to the Scoop bashing by so many “fans” and websites over the past year in particular. Most of these people don’t seem to understand what is going on in the game of basketball, so let me try to explain. You can have your point guard play one of two ways. He can play the position conservatively and more or less error-free with a great A/T ratio. However, this style will also minimize the offensive opportunities he can generate both in halfcourt and especially in transition. The alternative is to up the tempo and take more risks, with the idea being that the resultant TO’s are more than compensated for by additional offensive opportunities. I’m all for Option 2, and clearly Scoop and JB are too. That’s good enough for me, and I want to support Scoop’s embrace of this style. Asking him to think too much before each pass is simply going to result in the worst of both approaches. The haters need to stop second guessing each brush stroke and take a look at the whole canvas. Last year was pretty darn good!
    In conclusion: if you want peach baskets and a four-corners offense, I say go root for someone else. Go Scoop, and go Cuse!

  4. Scoop will have a big year. Congrats to Scoop for his maturation and transformation.

  5. Great points by cap2nine and Doc.

    I agree with this article, the lack of offense really put a lot of weight on Scoop and the Syracuse offense in general to start chucking up some shots. I will not totally blame that on the offense because there were definitely some “Scoop-id” plays.

    I think with all these camps he has gone to over the summer bringing his basketball IQ up (which I think can do nothing but help him) and being a 5th year senior, Scoop will lead this team with KJ and they will be a force in the Big East and the Nation.

    I am pumped for November.

  6. Glad everyone enjoyed the article. I did too – Kanell did a great job with this. It is really encouraging to see Scoop take this leadership thing seriously and I’m glad he’s getting noticed for it.
    -DA

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