Dear Scoop Jardine,
In a previous article, I cited you as a main reason that Syracuse was skidding.
During the stretch of games where the Orange lost to Seton Hall, Villanova, Georgetown and Pitt, to name a few, you averaged 11.25 points a game, and in the games where 'Cuse did win, you only averaged 7.5 points.
Naturally, I rushed to conclusions and decided you were to blame for the team's bad play due to your shot selection. I assumed that because you were scoring less and passing more, that the Orange were a better team and you had learned your role.
Now, I would like to publicly apologize. Mr. Jardine, you have battled through image problems at Syracuse, but the bottom line is that this year you have established yourself as a team leader.
Furthermore, in those losses, when no one was scoring and shots were tough regardless of who took them, I should have recognized you were simply trying to make something out of nothing.
You have done a phenomenal job of protecting the ball and preventing turnovers. The offense finally has found flow in transition and in the half court.
When Rick Jackson is struggling, you look for other options. You have developed court awareness, and as a result, your play is keeping Syracuse alive in the Big East.
As shown on Saturday against the dreaded Hoyas, Syracuse is a legitimate Big East threat, especially when the 2-3 zone is working at its best and the offense is protecting the ball. The shot selection early and late by you, Mr. Jardine, allowed Syracuse to both pull ahead and drive a dagger into the heart of Georgetown.
Shots like the long three and crazy floater you made showed the talent and potential Jim Boeheim saw in you that I should have as well.
So with that, Mr. Jardine, I apologize. I hope that you lead the Orange in crushing DePaul and on a march to the Big East Championship.