Like it or not, tomorrow’s second-round matchup against Marquette (predicted by the computers) comes down to enigmatic Scoop Jardine. In January’s loss to the Golden Eagles, Scoop dished out 13 assists, but shot just 5-of-12 and had five turnovers. In that game, Marquette built an 11-point halftime lead and won by six. If Scoop contributes double-digit assists and avoids bad shots and turnovers, Syracuse should win this game. But if not? Well, we know all about “Bad Scoop.”
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Making matters a little more tenuous is the injury Scoop suffered late in the win over Indiana State. Jardine looked like a sniper had clipped him from the nachos stand, as he dramatically collapsed in a heap, holding his wrist and wincing. After the game, Scoop shrugged off the severity of the injury.
“The wrist is fine, I just fell hard on it. It kinda just numbed on me. It’s fine. I should be okay.”
Let’s hope so, because the last thing Syracuse needs is an already inconsistent and maddening point guard also hampered by a bum wrist. It may have been his non-shooting hand, but the inability to dribble with both or drive each side is an enormous disadvantage at the point.
Meantime, The Per’fesser’s always entertaining post-game press conference reaffirmed what we thought about this Orange team: it’s undisciplined. He took a slight jab at the nature of his players when dismissing the late tip time might have affected his team.
“I don’t think we have too many guys who go to bed at 9 o’clock. Indiana State, they may have some guys. But we don’t have a lot of guys who go to bed early.”
Hard to imagine Coach K or Tom Izzo suggesting their teams were creatures of the night. Then again, it follows lock-step with these Orange. It’s been a season pocked with lackadaisical defensive rotations and hasty offense decision-making. Of course this team doesn’t head to bed early. It probably pulls all-nighters playing World of Warcraft and Skyping. The team that keeps you guessing.
Finally, The Per’fesser couldn’t get through an entire NCAA tournament presser without making things uncomfortable for student media. A reporter from WAER asked about Boeheim-favorite Dion Waiters’ play against the Sycamores and was met with vintage Boeheim.
(awkward pause) “Why is it always one of our guys who ask these questions? I don’t know, what did you think about it? (pause) I’ll leave that one up to you. (pause) He did make one shot that was important, but if we were on a plus-minus system like hockey is though, it wouldn’t be pretty.”
Thanks coach! In other words Waiters, who scored 5 points in 17 minutes, gave up far more offense than he created. His defense was lazy (see above) and Indiana State knew it could attack his side of the zone. A banged-up point guard. A testy coach. An undisciplined team. Yet a victory over Marquette in Cleveland is all thats stands in the way of Syracuse mixing some home-cookin’ tourney magic. March Madness with the Orange: never a dull moment.