Joe Girard is the 65th player in Syracuse history to reach the 1,000 point milestone. That’s pretty rare company for a point guard who’s not a point guard at all. So, even though there is plenty of time for Girard to give his legacy a facelift, the question of how SU fans will remember him remains.
If nothing else, Girard has been there. The junior started all but two games in his career, so far. Granted there have been many bumps along the way, times when he looks like a shell of himself just one game after erupting, and one game before erupting. That’s been the story of Girard’s junior year: puzzling inconsistency. But, that doesn’t have to be the story of his career.
Girard’s story is still unfinished, but when fans look back on his career it will be met with a smile. He’s Central New York through and through. Even though he might not seem like the typical Syracuse point guard because of his lack of length at the top of the zone, his shooting ability often makes up for it. A lot of people believe Girard is a defensive liability because of his stature, but he routinely ranks in the top-10 in the ACC steals category.
That being said, a lot of Syracuse fans will look back on Girard’s career and the team results with him running the offense wondering what could have been if Kadary Richmond had not transferred. The now Seton Hall point guard seemed poised to take the starting role from Girard last season, but it never happened. Jim Boeheim stuck with his guy through thick and thin. All the head coach wants is for the fans to do the same.
The Girard era really isn’t the Girard era at all. Rather, it’s the Buddy Boeheim era. But that’s alright. Girard doesn’t have to be remembered. Since he came to campus, nobody faced more criticism than he did. Sometimes it was warranted. Sometimes it wasn’t. But whether you like him or not, he was there for it all. He was there for the Sweet 16 run when he averaged nearly 45% from the perimeter. He was there for the Covid season. He’s there right now, taking onus for the team’s shortcomings. That’s how Girard should be remembered, regardless of how many more points he scores, turnovers he commits, or wins he contributes to. Nobody can take a punch like Girard.