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Syracuse Basketball: TNIAAM Staff Postmortem Part II

The post-season immediate reaction continues. Read Part I of the TNIAAM staff discussion here.

What is Scoop Jardine's legacy at Syracuse?

DL: A player who rebounded from incredible scrutiny to become a great point guard and leader during one of the winningest stretches in Syracuse basketball history.

JR: One of the most beloved, if not maddening, players in recent Orange history. No one could go from the doghouse to the penthouse (or vice-versa) faster than Mr. Jardine. His name is both a rallying cry and a curse word for many SU faithful.

JC: Prior to this season, it was probably one of frustration. Now? As much as it feels weird for me to say this, Scoop's legacy is one of maturity. We all saw his tears at the end of the OSU game. Those were tears of a real kid who'd truly put everything he had left on the court. In the end though, he becomes part of an era of the Orange falling just short.

MG: For insane people that call into radio stations: Whatever your toilet looks like after a nachos el grande. For normal people: Pretty good player with a heart of gold that made you stabby because he wasn't perfect all the time. He's not in the pantheon, but I don't think anyone without head wounds would say he had a bad career.

AG: Maybe it's just me feeling sentimental a day after the loss and Scoop's tears. But regardless of what the stats say, he will go down as one of the all time greats at Syracuse. And many years from now I could see him pretty easily sliding into Derrick Coleman's role of the alum in the stands at all our big games.

SL: I give him the character award, for always being in the mix when things were going on with the team. Luckily, the things he was involved with vastly improved during his five year stay at Syracuse.

MM: I threw this out on Twitter Saturday night. Scoop Jardine simply got what it meant to be Jim Boeheim's point guard. More than anyone else maybe. Yup, that includes Pearl and Sherman. I'm not talking talent, I'm talking understanding a role. From owning his mistakes to handling sitting the bench, in front of the media, Jardine grew into a perfect ambassador. Introspective and self deprecating with the right amount of confidence. On the court, Jardine committed countless bone-headed plays, but he also hit huge shots and was a key factor in the re-birth of Syracuse basketball over the last five years (four playing). I think Jardine played basketball at Syracuse the way a lot of us would. Not perfect, but enjoying every second. He's not a superstar, but, for his time at SU, Jardine loved playing and knew he was lucky to be able too. His legacy will be....very human. Full of great times, bad times, mistakes and accomplishments. And through it all he handled it with a sense of class.

SK: Scoop Jardine is the rare player that can be beloved by fans and yet feared with the ball in his hands by those very same fans. Yes, Scoop transcended the "Scoopid" label that was assigned to him (at least to most) but there was always something gnawing at quite a few Syracuse fans when he had the ball in his hands late in the game. All of that said, Scoop is the career that Jim Boeheim and Syracuse Basketball can point to and say, "Look how much you can change and grow in 4-5 years here." Scoop was thisclose to getting thrown out of Syracuse on multiple occasions early on in his career and spent the second half rededicated to himself and representing the program. A class act all the way, Scoop might not be remembered outside of Central New York but he'll always get a standing ovation in the Carrier Dome. He will be missed for sure.

What is Kris Joseph's legacy at Syracuse?

DL: A reliable scoring presence for three great years, and currently the winningest player in Syracuse history.

JR: Class, if not unrealized potential. I don't remember anyone ever having anything bad to say about Kris. He was a role model for kids and future players alike. On the court, I don't know if he ever lived up to the hopes we had for him after his sophomore season. However, that could be our fault more than his.

JC: Kris was given more chances to be a legend than any Orange player I can remember. Yet like Jardine, he'll ultimately end up being remembered for an era of coming up short. Joseph had his moments, sure, and was a leader for this team -- but he also failed to evolve into that consistent late-game assassin we'd always expected him to be. Separating his career from this postseason, he's a well-liked and respected part of Syracuse lore. But that cloud of what could've been may always hang over him, too.

MG: For insane people that call into radio stations: "He's no Lawrence Moten!" (These are the same people who now love Lawrence Moten but once said of him, "He's no Howard Triche!") For normal people: Pretty good player with a heart of gold that made you stabby because he wasn't perfect all the time. I think we're going to find out that his stems were never quite the same from earlier in his career.

AG: This is a tough one. I love this kid. Two years in a row we expected him to make that jump from good player to star and he never did. It's really hard to get past that. We saw glimpses of what we hoped he would be, but he never could do it consistently. A decade or two from now I think we will remember this as Scoop's team. Although maybe Kris will end up with a career in broadcasting after he's done playing overseas, and we will get to see him every week on ESPN.

SL: He gets my quiet leader award, for always getting the job done but never standing out or being too flashy.

MM: I think Joseph will forever be linked to Jardine. The two grew together at SU and were major reasons why Syracuse went from NIT to NCAA (keeping SU on the national scene after the departures of Jonny Flynn and Wes Johnson). Joseph, however, will be remembered for the wins more so than Jardine. The knock on Joseph will be he didn't fully develop into the superstar we all thought he would become. Joseph was never the 'Take Over The Game Like Hubert Davis Needs Someone To Do' type of player. Still, through four years K-Jo improved each season and, if not scoring, he would do what it took to win by facilitating on offense or leading on defense.

SK: Joseph leaves us as a bit of a contradiction. He'll be remembered as the leading scorer on this amazing team, but I don't know how many people will remember him as "the leader." He is the winningest player in the history of Syracuse basketball but his number will never be retired. He made great strides and great plays during his career but you'd be hard-pressed to pull together a "top ten Kris Joseph plays" off the top of your head. A great guy and the kind of person you want representing your program, I think Kris ultimately falls into that second tier of SU stars. He'll be remembered alongside Preston Shumpert, Demetris Nichols, Etan Thomas and others. Quality players who did great, just not legendary.

Assuming Fab Melo and Dion Waiters are gone and not counting the possibility of Nerlens Noel just yet, who is your way-too-early starting five for next season and who are your sixth and seventh guys off the bench?

DL: 1.) Michael Carter-Williams 2.) Brandon Triche 3.) CJ Fair 4.) Rakeem Christmas 5.) DaJuan Coleman 6.) James Southerland 7.) Trevor Cooney 8.) Baye Keita 9.) Jerami Grant

JR: G - Brandon Triche, G - Michael Carter-Williams, F - C.J. Fair, F - DaJuan Coleman, C - Rakeem Christmas, 6 - James Southerland, 7 - Jerami Grant. With the Orange potentially losing four of their top six players, we could be looking at a rebuilding year. I think Boeheim likes the idea of bringing a scorer off the bench, and James Southerland could be an early 6th man of the year candidate. Boeheim also has shown that he isn't afraid to start freshmen, and Coleman may already be mature enough physically to contribute in the physical Big East. Grant could earn minutes as one of those rangy athlete/defender types - perhaps like a young Kris Joseph…? That said, Coleman (or even Christmas) goes to the bench in a heartbeat if Noel or Melo are wearing an SU uniform next October.

JC: PG: Brandon Triche, SG: Trevor Cooney, SF: James Southerland, PF: C.J. Fair, C: Rakeem Christmas, 6th: Michael Carter-Williams, 7th: Baye Keita. Triche is the obvious leader here, while Southerland's shooting touch will benefit from consistent minutes. Once again, we'll have a balanced attack that can spread the floor and go about nine- or ten-deep, too. Christmas and Keita probably end up platooning at the five, since both are two halves to a whole, very good center.

MG: Carter-Williams/Triche/Southerland/Fair/Christmas. As for the off-the-bench stuff, who knows? That's way too situational. However, I'll go with Keita and Cooney. (You can now engage your standard "Y U NO LIST DAJUAN COLEMAN?!?" response. The reason? Because I'm in charge of my answers. That's why, college boy.)

AG: Gah, I don't know. I've never been very good at knowing the skills of the recruits or the guys that never get off the bench. Everyone is all excited about MCW and Trevor Cooney. Personally, I'm excited to finally see what Brandon Triche will do as the uncontested leader of this team. I think he has another level of basketball skills he hasn't quite realized and I hope we see that next season. I'm so excited about C.J. Fair's potential. He was a rich man's Josh Pace most of this season. But he's so talented. If he figures that out, he could be one of the best players in the Big East next season and go on to the NBA. And hopefully Rak can take his Wisconsin game and do that all season long. So to answer your question: I have no idea but I already can't wait to find out.

SL: What should we assume about Mookie? (Kidding). Before I give my predictions, I want to theorize about Boeheim having some strategy that even the smartest of us don't know about. This year, if he had put Waiters in the starting five, his reputation would have been as a good starter on the Syracuse team. However, he wouldn't have received any Big East awards for Sixth Man of the Year or national recognition for his contributions off the bench. That chatter about him will probably help his prospects in the draft. So I think Coach always has some plan that will mess with the most researched of our predictions. But here are mine: Christmas, Southerland, Fair, Triche, Cooney. Sixth and seventh are Coleman and Keita. But Carter-Williams and Grant have unknowns that could make some big changes to my predictions.

MM: Wow. This one is tough to answer. Tougher to answer than maybe it should have been, but with Waiters and Melo likely going pro, next year is an unknown right now. I think Michael Carter-Williams takes over at point. Brandon Triche continues to start at shooting guard (welcome to Brandon Triche's team by the way). CJ Fair has to start at Small Forward, Rakeem Christmas at center (I put him here because of his play in the tournament and it's his natural position), with either Baye Keita or incoming freshman DaJuan Coleman at the power forward position. Sixth man will most likely be senior James Southerland, followed by either Keita or Coleman. Throw in redshirt freshmen Trevor Cooney and SU may go 8 or so deep next season.

SK: My starting line-up as of this moment is Brandon Triche, Michael Carter-Williams, C.J. Fair, Rakeem Christmas and DaJuan Coleman. James Southerland and Trevor Cooney are waiting in the wings to come off the bench and Baye Mousa Keita isn't far behind. Obviously, if Nerlens Noel commits, that changes things. If not, then the Orange still have a lot of balance. Triche will be the defacto leader but Fair could end up becoming the star. Christmas should be much improved and putting up Fab numbers while MC-Dubz is expexted to come into his own. Cooney is a question mark since we don't know how he'll be in a real game and of course Coleman will likely suffer the freshman big man freeze.