With all that ice water in his veins, Scoop Jardine almost went into anemic shock yesterday. The senior guard led SU past a young and pesky Rutgers squad¬†to secure Syracuse‚Äôs seventh straight win. Some critics believe¬†not having a single go¬†to guy will hurt this team. But the formula just keeps working. Despite the criticism #11 gets, he was stone-cold in the final¬†minutes against RU and sent the Scarlet faithful packing for the Greasetrucks.
The Fizz caught up with Scoop postgame about the win. Jardine doesn‚Äôt care about the¬†doubters.
‚ÄúThis is why I am who I am. I‚Äôm not trying to be cocky, but¬†confident. I work on my game just for these moments. I¬†can take criticism, I‚Äôve been taking it my whole career,¬†and it helped me for these moments. It allows me to make¬†winning plays for this team.‚Äù
This isn’t the first time recently Scoop led his¬†team to victory. Against UConn he also went off late. Everyone points to Dion Waiters or Kris Joseph¬†as guys who should have the rock with the game on the line. But SU proves it’s simply a question of what the game dictates. Scoop wasn‚Äôt hesitant to pull the trigger on some deep jumpers against RU.
The timing for Jardine‚Äôs late game heroics was perfect.¬†With Dion and K-Jo struggling to find their shots from the field yesterday,¬†it was vital Scoop took over. Scoop also set up high-flyin‚Äô C.J. Fair for a set of nasty alley oops.
‚ÄúYou know that guy who always makes the right play, at the¬†right time, at the right moment? That‚Äôs CJ. He‚Äôs always in¬†the best position to make a bucket. If he keeps playing like¬†this, we have a really great chance of winning the National¬†Championship‚Äù
The beautiful thing about this team is the different game plan each¬†night. Scoop was 0-for-8 from the field against Louisville last week, and decided to¬†just dish ¬†that game. Yesterday, he had the hot hand and looked¬†to score. That inconsistency could be¬†alarming. But SU feeds off this style of play. Each player‚Äôs role can change from¬†game to game, but the Orange expect that.
‚ÄúCoach gives us the freedom at the end of games. We have¬†guys that make plays at the right moment. We don‚Äôt have¬†just one guy, we have four or five guys. We get criticized¬†sometimes because we don‚Äôt have that one superstar, but¬†I‚Äôd rather be on a team like this where any guy can make a
play at any given time.‚Äù
Granted, Syracuse was sluggish for a second straight game offensively. But this team never looked uncomfortable. SU was cool, calm and¬†composed, led by a steady Scoop in the 2nd half. Georgetown and Louisville went ice cold from¬†the floor, which is a testament to SU’s defense. Scoop’s turnovers¬†are down (3:1 assist/TO ratio in his last 11 games), and he’s taking over in crunch time.
Once again the depth of Syracuse elevates this team. Hopefully, Jardine and his boys will¬†be talking about it all off-season, after the nets are cut down in New¬†Orleans.
Posted: Kevin Fitzgerald