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Well this game really ticked me off. I come to the game, I get in my seat and am enjoying my BK Lounge in 309, and I realize that Scoop Jardine is not dressed in his uniform. I then sit through one of the most boring first halves of basketball I have seen all season. Syracuse then proceeds to blow a 12 point lead in the second half. I get the annoying lady that sits next to me in our section going nuts thinking she’s Jim Boeheim, as she always does. Finally the team pulls it out, but it was a bit too close for my comfort level. Not even my cookiewich could pacify me. Syracuse wins an important Big East contest, quite necessary for their tournament and Big East Tournament hopes, but this game definitely leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. I’ll address the Scoop Jardine situation, as I have received quite a few text messages and e-mails asking me if I know what is going on. First, to the recap.

Donte Greene was the leading scorer in this match. He earned 25 points and four rebounds. He also sank five of 13 from long range. One of the three pointers came out of a timeout in a designed play which left Greene open at the top of the key, which he nailed. He generally looked good on the floor, but I feel he truly was unable to take over the game as we have seen him do in the past. Greene has become a hot topic with my friends and I as to the status of his being on the team next season. My feeling is, especially if the team only gets an NIT birth, that Greene will be back for one more season. I mean, lord knows he could use it to polish his defense and round out his game. I have other friends who are convinced he will take the money and run. As I discussed with Axeman before the Villanova game, he has stated things like “when I come back next year…” and things of that nature. But we both have heard that kind of talk before from a certain freshman phenom. Granted though, that freshman helped win the National Championship and was named MOP. This is quite a different set of circumstances.

Paul Harris then was second in scoring for the Orange with 14 points. He also pulled down five rebounds. What I was most impressed with was his free throw shooting, as he made ten out of 13. For a team that has been less that stellar in the free throw department this season it was a breath of fresh air. He did turn the ball over six times however, and generally looked sloppy when dribbling. For being the next aforementioned freshman last year, he sure has not delivered as we were promised yet.

Kristof! “The Belgian Waffle” Ongenaet earned his first start, and frankly I was somewhat impressed. In his first start he only earned six points, but he pulled down eight rebounds, made two steals, and looks like the modern day basketball version of Rudy Ruettiger on the court. He always exhibits hustle and effort that any fan would want to see 100% of the time from their team. I like Kristof! and I hope he continues to play well in the expanded role as starter.

Flynn looked pedestrian as compared to the last few games he has played, but he still played well. He scored 12 points, five assists, four rebounds, and made five out of six free throw shots. All in all, a solid day that I cannot complain one bit about. I can complain about the four turnovers though.

This game saw some extended minutes with Rick Jackson on the floor. He also played well off the bench playing 17 minutes and earning seven points and eight rebounds. A solid day all around for Mr. Jackson.

Completely unrelated to the play of Syracuse, Providence has my new favorite “Tall Goofy White Guy” in the Big East. Ray Hall looked like someone took a leprechaun and stretched him to play basketball. He replaces the former Rutgers player Dan Waterstradt.

Arinze Onuaku, while not being a beacon of scoring this game, did contribute eight points, actually managing to hit four out of the five free throws he attempted. He also was an absolute beast on the boards as he pulled down 14 rebounds.

Speaking of boards, the team out rebounded Providence 43 to 27. Offensively, the team earned 14 rebounds, while Providence only had eight. This was an excellent performance by Syracuse to get rebounds, and Syracuse will need to continue, especially against the likes of Pittsburgh and Villanova.

The team, as I mentioned, improved upon its free throws as well. They hit 68% of their free throws, which was 25 out of 37. While that is still not fantastic, it is better than the measly 50% or so they earned the last time on the hardwood. They need to continue to make free throws down the stretch as they did this game, to ensure that teams cannot clime out of the deficit they are in and win over Syracuse.

The turnovers for Syracuse were asinine. They earned 22 in the game. Yeah, that is a lot. Paul Harris had six and Arinze Onuaku had five. Syracuse tried desperately to lose this game in the second half, but they did not. That is the only saving grace for this number, as Providence only had 13.

Syracuse’s defense again left much to be desired. I think it is less we have a terrible defense, as it is simply a lazy defense. When you implore a zone defense as Syracuse usually does, it is easy for a backdoor cut or a baseline pass to get behind the zone and get a good look at the basket. This means that especially Onuaku has to be aware of the players behind him and allow himself the ability to crash to the basket or intercept a pass. The zone is not supposed to be easy to pass through. This one is. Similarly, Syracuse often does not respect the three point shooters that other teams employ. Thus, we let a team like Providence, a team that dropped 14 three pointers on UConn, shoot three pointers. While it worked in the end, most teams that are of a higher caliper than Providence will make more of those baskets. This was illustrated in the UMass game you may recall. Therefore, Syracuse has to be more diligent and less lazy while on the defensive end.

And now the elephant in the room. Scoop Jardine was suspended indefinitely for “breaking university policies”. I absolutely hate when players are suspended for any reason on any team, and it makes it sting all the more when it is one of ours. I hold Syracuse up to a high academic and ethical standard. My degree is valuable to me and I hate to see it worth less because of the actions of stupid people. Did I have a little fun when I was an undergrad, and even an employee of Syracuse? You know it. Did I always obey the law? 99% of the time. Was it anything that would endanger myself or others in any way? Not one bit. All of that is merely an aside to the real issue. About a month ago an article appeared on Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician talking about the rumors of the players on Syracuse possibly committing a sexual assault. From what my sources in the Athletic Department are saying, this suspension is the direct result of an investigation of rape allegations. Now, my sources are fairly low level in the scheme of the Athletic Department, and there is a touch of hearsay involved. That being said, it seems to make sense to me, as the rumors have been floating around now for a good month, and the university or Jim Boeheim is fairly hush hush about the whole thing. Now I am not a legal expert, however I am in law school and understand the criminal justice system. That being said, in my opinion it is a little odd that after a month of that rumor being around that they are just now starting an investigation on it. I understand the position the university must take as they need to suspend anyone under investigation for a crime such as this. However, it is odd that the investigation would not commence sooner if they really thought there was validity to the claim. Anyway, I hope this is all moot and I am wrong about the entire thing. These are the rumors I am hearing from people within the department though. As Nunes/Magician stated so eloquently in that article though, I can write what I want and will not be held accountable. However, I try to have the most integrity I can get and so please do not take this information as the God’s honest truth. This is merely one of the many possibilities that it could be, and sadly, via some investigation on my part, what I believe to be the probable reason.

The Axeman has a complete recap of the game here, which has some good reaction to the game from the players. He, as a respected member of the media, cannot be a party to the rumor mill that we all like to be a part of, but I can afford to be as this is a blog as I previously mentioned, so do not expect anything that is not an absolute fact on his site. Therefore you should check out the recap, as well as this initial report of Scoop being suspended because the comments are off the chain.

Everything being said, Syracuse earned a win. A win at this point is good. A win was necessary and the team, when backed against the wall, responded and won a decent game. The next contest for the Orange has them traveling back to the site of the massacre of 2006. The DePaul Blue Devils will host Syracuse this Wednesday at 8:30pm. We should all hope the outcome this time around is better than the last. Remember, despite if the team wins or loses, and despite the actual Scoop situation, remember… at least we are not UConn.

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7 Responses to “Providence - Syracuse Postgame Reactions OR Sadly, I May Have the Scoop On Scoop”

  1. # Blogger MariusJanulisForThree

    Mmmm...cookiewich. I'm a Choco Taco man though, to be honest.  

  2. # Anonymous Vito

    I hope your friend in Section 309 doesn't read your blog. Could make for an awkward UConn game. I'm also with Nunes on the Choco Taco thing although it was always a jackpot day at Eggers when the Mint Chocolate Chip Cookiewiches were in the freezer.  

  3. # Blogger Brian Harrison

    I enjoy a multitude of frosted ice cream treats. Sadly there is no variety in the Carrier Dome. Those days in Eggers were solid though. Maybe mix in an Oreo Bar now and then. Good stuff.

    I hope that tool in 309 does. I love a good awkward situation.  

  4. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Personally, I think if this whole Scoop situation is true, he wouldn't have been allowed to sit on the bench. If he's even under investigation, I think some sort of story would have been made up and he wouldn't have been allowed to sit with the team. Call me crazy, but because ths rumor has been around for a month and no formal investigation has launched and there is no public awareness of the situation, I really don't think this is the reason for the suspension.  

  5. # Blogger Brian Harrison

    While I don't disagree with you, I'm simply putting it out there. Also, I think it is more probable than not that there is some weight to it. Is it true or not, I don't know.

    That being said, I have not been on the hill in a few years so I would have to check into the actual Syracuse University Judicial Board policies in regards to student suspensions/athletic issues and if they have jurisdiction or if it is strictly an Athletic Department issue, as I think that really matters as to if he can't be on the bench or not.

    I believe a formal investigation on the part of the University has commenced however, although that may simply be internal to the Athletic Department.

    Either way, I hope the whole thing is not true, but I feel obligated (although somewhat dirty about it) to put it out there, as I believe the readers appreciate to hear my opinion, otherwise you wouldn't read this blog.  

  6. # Blogger Jeff

    "I think it is less we have a terrible defense, as it is simply a lazy defense. "

    I agree. It probably doesn't help that we're a) so young and b) so undermanned. In the games I have seen Donte Green did not look like he knew what he was doing.  

  7. # Anonymous Fonda

    The modern day "Rudy." It is an honor being compared to the guy. The fans really love the hustle and determination. You might be interested with the the Young Entrepreneur Society from the Stories of determined individuals who succeed in business.  

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