Each year, the Syracuse Orange Blogging Community organizes a series of awards for the past basketball season. These awards include "Best Freshman," "Best player/coach featured video," "Most Valuable Player," and many more. For a full list of the awards and when they will be handed out, visit Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician .
This year, I'll be handing out the best sophomore award to Kris Joseph and tomorrow at 4 PM I'll be posting who the Syracuse Orange bloggers thought was this year's MVP.
While there were four sophomores on this year's version of the Orange, only two were realistic candidates to win the award.
Walk-on Nick Resavy is famous for his warmup games of horse against graduate assistant coach Gerry McNamara. However, his 3/4 court shot in horse wasn't enough to knock off Kris Joseph and Scoop Jardine.
Brandon Reese being a fan favorite among students and his frequent late game stardom in blow-outs also wasn't enough to overcome Joseph and Jardine.
Syracuse Orange Bloggers made strong cases for both Joseph and Jardine to be the team's best sophomore for 2009-2010. Unfortunately only one can win the award (actually that's a blatant lie, ties are allowed, it's just fun to use a terrible cliche every once in awhile) and that one is Kris Joseph.
But first, the case for Scoop Jardine:
The fearless leader of Syracuse Orange Bloggers, Sean Keeley from Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician says "Scoop made a helluva leap from his freshman season. He came into this year leaner and determined and it paid off as he become a leader on the court. Ooh yea that's hot."
For those of you who don't follow Jardine on Twitter, he ends each tweet with the same phrase, "Ooh yea that's hot." Jardine explained to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle how the phrase originated, "It's just a lingo me, Kris (Joseph), and Wes (Johnson) came up with. It's just something we got going on and it's getting popular."
I also voted for Jardine because, "Scoop Jardine: While Kris-Jo had an outstanding season, Jardine ended up being a bigger impact player because of Brandon Triche's Big East troubles. Jardine posted a higher offensive efficiency and used up more possessions than Joseph and recorded an outstanding assist rate for point guard. Joseph will likely be an All-American candidate next season if he adds a reliable jump shot (easier said than done, ask Paul Harris), but this year, Jardine was the better player."
Jardine may sneak into the NBA some day, but Joseph is clearly the better pro prospect as he could turn into a first round pick next season because of his explosiveness with the basketball.
The Orange Fizz , a site that's main focus is Syracuse football and basketball recruiting, voted for Jardine for similar reasons as above, "Early in the season I would've voted K-Jo, but by the violent end to the season, Scoop had earned his keep. There were times in the Sweet 16 Jardine was the lone playmaker on the floor, looking to drive to the hoop and create offense in the Butler debacle. Never knew what you were gonna get from Scoop, but by the end of the season, I was glad he had two more years as an Orange."
Andrew from Three Idiots on Sports also highlighted Jardine's ability to create, but also his development throughout the season when the Orange needed a reliable point guard, "If we decided this in late January it would be Kris Joseph, but with the way Scoop played down the stretch, he gets the nod here. He clearly established himself as the team's lead guard, showing an ability to push the ball and score when necessary. Kris Joseph is still a hell of a player though. When you've got two really good sophomores, you've got a good future."
Despite the praise for Jardine who averaged nine points per game and four assists, he was not the best sophomore on this team in the eyes of most Syracuse Orange Bloggers.
That honor goes to Kris Joseph, the high flying Canadian who dropped 11 points per game and frequently energized the Orange with his monstrous dunks.
Brian from CuseOrange compared the jump Kris-Jo made to the jump Rick Jackson made as he went from a freshman to a sophomore last year, "This is the second year in a row for a sophomore breakout season, following Rick Jackson last season. I'm really excited to see him in a starting role next year—once he fine-tunes the jumper, he'll be tough to stop."
Steven from CuseOrange also chose Joseph for similar reasons, "At several times this year, I thought he was the best player on the floor for the Orangemen. His handle, jump shot and confidence seemed to grow with each game. He should step into the leader roler quite naturally next year."
Other voters were simply wowed by some of his signature moments in his still somewhat short Syracuse career. Josh from 'Cuse Country explains, "Tough call, because I was amazed by the leap in Scoop's game this season, but I'm going to go with Kris Joseph. He didn't have a great NCAAs but he was outstanding all season long, and was a more consistent contributor throughout the year. We're going to be replaying his crossover against Greg Monroe for years to come. And he started hitting some three-pointers in the latter part of the season—I can't wait to see him break out next year."
Chuck Fiello Jr. of The Big Orange Bloggers concurs, "I want to vote Scoop because he did a great job, especially towards the end of the season and the two guys shared sixth man awards but KrisJo aka Air Canada made for some of the most exciting, jaw dropping plays of the year, besides maybe Wes and Andy."
Dan Lyons, Bleacher Report's Syracuse Featured Columnist and Brian Harrison of Orange:44 were both just believers in Kris Joseph's game. Lyons said, "Kris was a player who showed some solid ability his freshman year but never put it all together. This year he really broke out, consistently proving to be one of the best scorers on the team, and showed that he could be able to give us what Wes gave us this year, or perhaps even more if his jumper develops, next year."
"He single-handedly won the Georgetown game in DC, he has a silky shot or can take it to the tin, and he contributed on offense when we need him to," Harrison said. "He consistently played well and continued to impress off the bench night in and night out."
Of course there was one answer that had absolutely nothing with basketball. In a world where social media is becoming an important of many of lives, Hoya Suxa decided the best sophomore based on their twitter output, "The difference between Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph, for me, comes down to two factors—(1) Who Twittered more?; and (2) Who Twittered better? "Ooo yea that's hot" is a fine candidate, but Joseph's volume is simply stunning. The young Canuck wins."
Next season, this team will be Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph's; there is little debating that. If those two take steps forward in their game, then the Orange may not miss a beat. The 'Cuse could maintain its success much like this year's team took a step forward despite losing Jonny Flynn, Eric Devendorf, and Paul Harris to the NBA Draft.