PITTSBURGH PA - JANUARY 17: Scoop Jardine #11 of the Syracuse Orange drives to the basket as Gilbert Brown #5 of the Pittsburgh Panthers defends at Petersen Events Center on January 17 2011 in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
In the last installment of the Great Orange Debate, the overall consensus was that they dilemma of playing "home" games in the greater NYC area is good for Doug Marrone and the Orange. Whether it be recruiting or television recognition, the move is good for all except your season ticket holders.
Now let's shift to the big sport on the hill: Basketball.
As always, leave your opinions in the comments and tweet using #GreatOrangeDebate to chime in on next week's topic!
Will Syracuse Be Better Next Year Without Scoop Jardine?
No player polarized Orange Nation quite like Scoop Jardine. "Live by the Scoop, Die by the Scoop" became the mantra. For the first time in five years, Mr. Jardine will not be a part of Jim Boeheim's team. After a record-setting season with Scoop in control of the offense, the Orange must transition if they are to be successful. Obviously, the team was not reliant on Jardine, so the argument should focus specifically on the aspects Jardine had the most impact on: point guard position, offensive efficiency, leadership.
The Affirmative: Influx of top tier talent.
The benefit of being a top tier program with a Hall of Fame Coach? There will never be a year the recruiting drops off the map. In this upcoming season alone, Michael Cater-Williams and Trevor Cooney will be making huge strides in their development and they were two of the best players available. Brandon Triche (a Bob Cousy Award Nominee) also has his final shot to cement his Orange legacy, ensuring the Orange still have a potent enough offensive attack.
This last season, though Jardine ran the offense, he never really was the offense. MC Dubz showed flashes of a dynamic scorer along with court vision of a point guard even if James Arther did not see it come tourney time. I'm not a great basketball stat geek but I will tell you that I did not hold my breath every time Triche touched the ball or went up for a shot this past year when he took the point. Moral of the story: Syracuse can have just as an effective offensive with more scoring next season without Jardine.
Off the court, Jardine was one of several leaders of the team. Dion Waiters led the team on the court with his play while Kris Joseph was a senior player in every sense of the phrase. Jardine did not help to win over fans with his "Team Jardine" approach to himself (I'm sure you saw them all on Twitter) and that kind of attitude won't be missed.
The Opposition: 5th Year Seniors Aren't Easy To Replace
Let's be honest here: there are only a handful of teams in all of college basketball that would not trade their point guard for Jardine. He was one of the best point guards in the country (nominated for the Bob Cousy Award) and knew Boeheim's system better than anyone on the team. It will be almost impossible for the next point guard to replace that kind of comfort within an offense. Scoop was a true floor manager who did everything from keeping cousin Waiters calm to knocking down huge threes against Florida (a game Boeheim said would have been lost without Scoop).
What Scoop did on the court was the same as he did in the locker room: manage the team. He was always the one posting pictures of team "off campus activities" and was almost an extension of Boeheim to the players. Who else on this upcoming team seems like they can fill that role? Triche has never been an on the court leader, MC Dubz has never been afraid to bash coaches for his lack of playing time, and Trevor Cooney has yet to even touch the floor.
Verdict: It is tough to predict what will happen with a team that has barely, if ever, played together as a unit. However, Scoop Jardine's absence will be felt for the first few weeks of the season as the Orange offense will be a bit different. Triche and MC Dubz are more than capable of filling the void left by Jardine but both have big enough question marks in their games to cast doubt. How can the Orange follow up their record setting season? Ultimately, @TWarner50 said it best: "They'll be worse next year, but not because Scoop isn' there."
Next debate: Doug Marrone should be let go if Cuse does not appear in a bowl game within 3 years.