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Syracuse 65 - North Carolina State 59: Curse Of The Jade Scorpion

In previewing the Syracuse team, NC State blog Backing The Pack realized that an anagram for Scoop Jardine is Jade Scorpion. The Jade Scorpion scored 23 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out six assists to lead eighth-ranked Syracuse to a 65-59 win over North Carolina State. On paper, Scoop was a force to be reckoned with.

Yet, ask any Syracuse fan, and SU head coach, and they'll tell you Scoop played one of the worst games they've seen in years. Just check the GameThread comments...

If anyone would like to die of alcohol poisoning drink everytime Scoop shoots a misguided three

I wish Bobby Knight was calling this game. He’d personally run out to the floor and tackle Scoop before his next dumb play

Can't be any worse than Scoop is right now

Um Scoop knows he's a shitty shooter right?

Boeheim actually puts the blame on Scoop's teammates for not giving him a chance to be the point guard he's supposed to be:

"The only guy that’s getting shots, a lot of shots, is Scoop," Boeheim said. "He’s got to find people. He’s probably got to take six or seven less shots and get the ball to people better. He’s more of a scorer than a point guard right now. He’s got to get people the ball."

"Scoop’s probably taking a couple because he sees we’re not scoring," Boeheim said.

As usual, the real hero was Rick Jackson, who scored sixteen and grabbed eight boards.

Rick Jackson gave Syracuse a 60-59 lead with a soft hook shot with 6:43 remaining. That would be Syracuse’s last field goal, but the Orange would never trail again.

Syracuse scored its last six points at the free-throw line. The Orange made six out of 10 free-throw attempts in the last six minutes, but that was good enough as Syracuse’s defense stiffened down the stretch.

The SU defense once again saved the day, converting nineteen NC State turnovers that led to 28 Syracuse points. The Orange also closed the door down the stretch, something Boeheim found encouraging.

"I like the way we play at end of games," Boeheim said. "We’ve got to find a way to hit some shots from the perimeter. At the end, we just didn’t take any more. We just kept trying to drive the ball and get to the basket."