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They're Like Magellan, They're Sooo Gellin'

If the theft of a student ID card and subsequent suspension of one of its players is what it takes for the SU men's basketball team to focus their efforts and play at a consistently, high level, so be it. I say someone needs to get Jake Prescutti and his 57-year-old nephew stationed at Schine, trying to pickpocket unsuspecting students as they shuffle through the food line.

I'm not gonna split hairs over whether or not that really is the force driving the Orange right now but the fact are clear. Since Scoop's suspension the Orange are 4-0 and won yet another road Big East game this Saturday, beating Villanova 87-73.

Paul Harris scored a career-best 28, Johnny Flynn dropped 24 and Donte Greene added 17 in what was just about the most well-rounded performance of the season. The Cats decided to take Arinze Onuaku out of the game and succeeded (3 points, 5 boards). Unfortunately for them the Orange have found a way to shift their focus when needed, leaning on a different player at any given time for that offensive boost.

The once-ranked Wildcats (13-7, 3-6) are in a free fall. They've lost four in a row, all by double-digits, and lost their 2nd game at home in a week. Oddly, it seemed as though these two teams would be occupying each other's standings not too long ago.

You may have also noticed Scoop Jardine was back in uniform for the game. Scoop played sparingly (3 minutes, 1 point). Thankfully for him, it seems that the judicial process (albeit quietly and shadily) has been served.

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim indicated after the Orange's game against Villanova on Saturday that SU's Judicial Review Board had lifted Jardine's indefinite suspension, which forced him to miss games against Providence and DePaul this past week.

"He went through the normal university procedures. Judicial Affairs," Boeheim said. "We're not allowed to talk about that beforehand or during. It went through the process and it's been resolved."

The Orange end January with a renewed excitement. Once left for dead the Orange are now 16-7 (6-4), which is a record any SU fan will gladly take. The work isn't done but the Orange now have the luxury of confidence, something they seemed to be lacking earlier in the season. However the Orange will meet on Wednesday with a team that may even be hotter than they are, the UConn Huskies (16-5, 6-3) Riding a five game winning streak that includes wins over Indiana and Pittsburgh, the Huskies are a major test for the Orange and its a season-shaping game for both teams.

Photo: SUAthletics)