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With One Scholarship Left, What Should Syracuse Do?

October 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Before we get into today’s topic, I wanted to follow up with details about the latest edition of Orange Tip-Off. As you may have heard through the grapevine, the preview magazine went on sale Wednesday afternoon, so it’s now available for digital download. Simply follow the link above to Amazon to purchase a copy for $9.99. If you don’t enjoy my drivel, the other writers involved did a fantastic job, and you don’t want to miss it. If you don’t own a Kindle or other e-reader and don’t want to read it on your phone, Amazon has its own Kindle application that you can download and use to read the magazine on your computer. If you already have your copy, I can’t thank you enough and hope you like it enough to spread the word.

With the shameless plug out of the way, let’s move on. Today’s post involves more conjecture into the future than discussing the upcoming campaign, but with this week being dominated by Dajuan Coleman’s announcement and the 2011-12 season fast approaching, there may not be many opportunities to talk about the long-term for awhile.

Assuming Coleman and Jerami Grant stick to their verbal commitments (a safe bet, in my opinion), one scholarship remains for the 2012-13 season. To elaborate, Syracuse, like every D-I school in good standing, has 13 scholarships to dole out, so here is the breakdown by class for next season:

Seniors (3): Mookie Jones, James Southerland, Brandon Triche
Juniors (4): C.J. Fair, Fab Melo, Baye Moussa Keita, Dion Waiters
Sophomores (3): Michael Carter-Williams, Rakeem Christmas, Trevor Cooney
Freshmen (2): Dajuan Coleman, Jerami Grant

That adds up to a dozen scholarships, one short of SU’s allotment. It’s worth pointing out here that for the sake of this exercise, I’m also assuming that between now and next fall, no defections via early draft entry or otherwise throw the math into uncertainty. A lot can change in a season’s time, but we can cross that bridge when it comes. So here’s the million-dollar question: What does Syracuse do with its one remaining scholarship for the 2012-13 season?

Fortunately for the Orange, the staff doesn’t have to do anything with its lone remaining scholly. Everywhere you look on the roster, there’s heavy depth, with no glaring need. To boot, only 12 players are under scholarship this season, according to College Hoops Update. It’s possible that the 13th will be used to reward a hard-working walk-on, as was the case last recently with Brandon Reese. To determine if, and how SU would best be served in adding to its depth chart, a good starting point would be to lay out the cards by position for the season to follow.

Guards (5): Carter-Williams, Cooney, Jones, Triche, Waiters
Small Forwards (3): Fair, Grant, Southerland
Power Forwards/Centers (4): Christmas, Coleman, Melo, Keita

So let’s get our analysis on. The backcourt is, for the most part, set. The stable of shooting guards is sufficiently deep, featuring Brandon Triche, Trevor Cooney and Dion Waiters. At the point, Michael Carter-Williams figures to take the keys from Scoop Jardine with Triche available to fill in (though more on this later). At the wing, Fair will hopefully be ready for full-time duty, with Grant and Southerland on hand to spell him. Maybe Southerland emerges this season, but otherwise, it’s rather push-button. Lastly, the zone’s anchors could be as rock-solid a group as we’ve seen under Jim Boeheim when all is said and done. There’s simply no need for the staff to pursue any more frontcourt players.

So let’s return to the backcourt. There are capable scorers left and right, but what about distributors behind Carter-Williams? Triche showed that he’s capable of running the point in his freshman year and for the brief periods when Jardine rested. By this point, however, Triche will be a senior, and my long-held belief is that Boeheim wants to keep him in that off-ball role. This, then, begs the question of available point guards in the high school ranks.

One quick look at ESPNU’s Top 100 will leave you with one answer – there isn’t one to be found there. Of the top 50 point guards as rated by the Worldwide Leader, You’d have to dig a little deeper, and to stumble across a geographically sensible target, you’d have to go all the way down to something called a “Jarryn Skeete,” a 6’2″, two-star recruit from Ontario. In case you’re wondering, no, I hadn’t heard of him, either, until I did the research for this post.

If you are like me and believe that the only foreseeable area of need (and I use the word “need” loosely) involves taking out some additional point guard insurance, you would probably rather see SU’s staff just pocket the scholarship after looking at the options. The point guards in the class of 2012 who are still on the board aren’t exactly on a level where high-caliber programs are battling it out for their services. Of the top 50 floor generals in the class, only ten are still uncommitted, and Skeete is surrounded on the list by kids who are verbally committed to schools like South Carolina, UC Santa Barbara, Illinois State and Manhattan. Thanks, but no thanks.

So if the staff wants to call it good by having Triche back up Carter-Williams in his senior season when he isn’t playing as the off-guard, what about simply aiming for the top overall talent who was recently linked to Syracuse through Hakim Warrick – Amile Jefferson? Well, things have reportedly been pretty quiet between Jefferson and the Orange, and with Fair and Grant in tow for Syracuse, Jefferson will probably shift his focus towards schools with court time to offer. SU doesn’t look like a fit here, at least not right now.

The situation could always change. Would anyone be that surprised if Mookie Jones and/or Dion Waiters finally decided to jet?  I could deal with a mass exodus fraught with early draft declarations in the aftermath of a national title, but this is a subject perhaps best left if we stick a pin in it and revisit in the spring.

The cost of having one of the most desirable depth charts in program history, amirite?

Dajuan Coleman Pops For Syracuse

October 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Tuesday was Dajuan Coleman’s day, and it was also a day for Syracuse fans to celebrate. Next August, the five-star big man from just down the street will make the quick jaunt to the SU campus to start what many are saying could be a brief college career. There was never much doubt in my mind that Coleman would pop for anywhere but Syracuse due to the school’s location and strong relationships he’s built with the coaching staff and players. While he visited Kentucky for Big Blue Madness, a report indicates that Coleman had his mind up two weeks before he even went down to Rupp Arena in Lexington. It’s also been made public that he grew homesick during summer ball trips and all the way up to his announcement, recruiting experts across the country stated in so few words that they would be surprised if he ended up anywhere but The Hill.

Coleman’s addition to the Orange gives Jim Boeheim a veritable embarrassment of riches across the back of the zone. When you think of this season’s Syracuse team, the first thing that comes to mind is the deep stable of guards. In 2012-13, the talk will likely be centered on, well, the centers. Or at least the frontcourt. Coleman, Fab Melo, Baye Keita and Rakeem Christmas? Plus C.J. Fair and Jerami Grant inheriting Kris Joseph’s playing time? The potential is off the charts.

Some fans may be apprehensive about getting worked up over such a highly-touted center after seeing Fab Melo flounder. While I respect those who don’t want to risk getting burned again, but it simply isn’t fair to compare the two solely based on Melo’s freshman struggles. Just as Rakeem Christmas and Fab Melo are different players, Melo and Coleman are very different. That viewpoint stems from the difference in the paths Melo and Coleman took to get where they are.  Three years ago, Coleman had a firm spot on Syracuse’s radar as a ninth-grader at Jamesville-Dewitt High School, while Melo was just getting to know the game and had yet to play against legitimate competition. Coleman has had the local spotlight on him for awhile now and is used to the attention; Entering this season, Melo can improve just by taking the mental approach of blocking out the scrutiny that will follow him after a rough first year. Coleman thrives on physical play and can score with a variety of moves down low, while Melo struggled to control himself on the offensive end and tried to stretch defenses with jumpers and a face-up game.

That doesn’t mean they don’t have some similarities. Like Melo, Coleman can stand to improve his conditioning. As he enters his senior season, Coleman’s listed at a hefty 280 pounds. Theoretically, he could shed 30 pounds and still have plenty of weight to throw around when he looks to control the paint in the Big East. As a smaller detail, scouts have cited a need for Coleman to stay focused and play as if he can’t get by on his talent alone. Melo, as we all remember, looked completely lost on both ends of the floor, with the exception of his two promising performances at the end of the season. Still, the differences significantly outweigh the similarities.

In a way, having Coleman on board for the 2012-13 season is a luxury for the Orange. Syracuse could probably get by on its current personnel had Coleman decided to venture elsewhere, but the damage done to the program on the recruiting trail would be hard to shake. It wouldn’t be difficult to imagine living room pitches where rival coaches to talk up Jim Boeheim’s fading prowess and how he can’t rope in the studs even when they’re right in his backyard and his staff spends several years getting to know them. Fortunately, that won’t be the case here. Coleman’s commitment on Tuesday sends the message that Syracuse is on its biggest extended recruiting roll in many years, as Boeheim and Company have reeled in three of the top big men in recent years in Melo, Christmas and now the local Coleman.

The short-term future is bright, but the long-term future is shaping up to be brilliant.

Dajuan Decides Today

October 25, 2011 Leave a comment

The search for Syracuse’s next hometown player and headliner of the 2012 recruiting class figures to come to an end this afternoon when Dajuan Coleman makes his college announcement. By all reports, SU has led in Coleman’s recruitment the whole way despite a hard run by Kentucky and overtures from Ohio State. As we know, the Orange has been tied to him for a long time now – as a senior at SU in 2008, I remember hearing whispers about the burly forward/center – so the relationship appears to run very deep, which can only work in Syracuse’s favor.

While recruiting can be frustrating to follow with high school kids committing and backing out or pushing back their announcement dates, Coleman has never struck me as the type who likes to keep the spotlight on him by keeping everyone guessing. From an observer’s perspective, he’s gone about his recruitment very quietly, especially considering the attention he’s attracted from scouts. The fact that he moved up his announcement date by a couple of weeks compounded by recalling that he visited Syracuse officially over the weekend suggests that he’s ready to make his decision and be done with it, and my guess is that Jim Boeheim will be a happy camper come 2:30 this afternoon. Verbal commitments aren’t binding, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Calipari stayed on him even after Coleman’s announcement (part of me expects it), but my gut feeling has him picking ‘Cuse.

Having Coleman in the mix for 2012-13 and potentially beyond would be huge for the Orange, as it would cement the back of the zone as a major strength heading into the future. A frontcourt depth chart consisting in some order of Coleman, Fab Melo, Rakeem Christmas and Baye Keita would challenge the Mariana Trench and make low post scoring extremely difficult for opponents. Offensively, it would be plenty capable of keeping defenses honest. Despite the occasionally unpredictable nature of recruiting, I’m fairly confident that Coleman will stay in Upstate New York for his college career.

***

On another note, I’m excited to have contributed to this season’s Orange Tip-Off preview magazine, which will be available very soon in digital formats for your iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Kindle or, for those of you who are old-fashioned….your computer. There won’t be a print version, unless you want to give your machine a workout reminiscent of Jonny Flynn’s freshman season, but the digital format is priced cheaper than last season’s magazine. With a similar if not increased amount and quality of awesome content, you’ll get a ton of value here. If you picked up last season’s edition (and a long-overdue “thank you” to those who did), hopefully you enjoyed it enough to give it another go.

If you waited too long last season and missed out or couldn’t swing the cost, here’s a chance to get back on top of things. From me, you’ll find player profiles of Rakeem Christmas, Brandon Triche and Matt Lyde-Cajuste as well as a lengthier story on Adrian Autry and a glimpse into the lives of some of the support staff who work behind the scenes to make SU basketball go.  The list of fellow contributors is comprised of great writers who you’ll recognize from the Syracuse blogosphere/Twitterverse, so you’ll have all you need to get ready for what is shaping up to be a terrific season of Syracuse hoops. Keep an eye out here or on the vaunted Twitter feed for more details as they become available.

C.J. Fair’s Role For The 2011-12 Orange

October 19, 2011 2 comments

Outside, the temperature is dropping and the leaves are falling, while inside, Dion Waiters and Jim Boeheim are getting along, the hype is accumulating like the winter snow on campus, and early practice reports are overwhelmingly positive. The Big East’s media day is also today, so if you can’t tell we’re getting close to the season, something’s horribly wrong.

Today, I wanted to discuss the projected improvement of C.J. Fair, who is just one of the reasons behind all the preseason accolades being heaped on the team, but he could be the x-factor in controlling SU’s destiny. I know I’ve talked about Fair at length in previous posts, so if what I’m about to get into bores you, I apologize, but I certainly don’t find myself bored watching a player with his skill set and efficiency at such an early stage of his development as a college player. The fact of the matter is that it’s tough to pass up an opportunity to discuss him.

Fair quickly won me over with his ability to step up when needed. Kris Joseph was hampered by a knee problem and struggled to make the leap everyone thought he would after his 2010 Sixth Man of The Year campaign. On top of that, Fab Melo and Baye Keita struggled to get into a groove, occasionally leading to a lineup that had Fair playing a traditionally bigger position. But, as you all remember, Fair responded with great efficiency. Though he averaged less than 20 minutes per game last season, he hit 54% of his shots, second on the team only to Rick Jackson among players with at least 60 attempts. Scouts have cited that he’s just a jump shot away from being a matchup nightmare, which was the same mantra we heard about Joseph going into the 2010-11 season.

While adding that weapon is Fair’s biggest opportunity for improvement, he’s shown that he can be highly productive in spurts as well as longer stretches even without it. One of the stats I’ve seen thrown around a few times this week as we inch towards tip-off is that in the five games last season in which Fair played at least 30 minutes, he averaged 11.2 points and 5.8 rebounds on a cool 52.4% shooting. Those are good numbers, but I think the best part about that stat was overlooked by those who reported it. The competition comprised in that set of data is staggering: at Pittsburgh, at Louisville, at home against West Virginia, at home against Rutgers and at Villanova, in chronological order. There isn’t a single DePaul, Colgate or Canisius in the lot.

However, when analyzing performance, it’s best to work with as big a sample size as you can get. If you sharpen the picture by widening the criteria to include games in which Fair played at least 25 minutes (a crude but apt definition of a full-time player), four more games are added to the data set, but the numbers hold up very well. The scoring average drops, but only to 10.6 points per game, while the rebounding average gets an uptick from 5.8 to 6.4 boards per game.

Fair also showed advanced ball control. In those five games when he played the most, he hardly ever turned the ball over. In fact, he did so only six times in a whopping 173 minutes, or one about every 29 minutes. Five games out of a 35-game season admittedly involves some cherry-picking, but these are more than flashes like Fab Melo having two good games at the end of the season; The games I’m talking about here represent about 30% of Fair’s total playing time from last season. Reiterating that these outings came against a set of very good conference teams, including both the Big East regular season champion and third-place team on the road, only emphasizes that he is already ahead of the curve for a sophomore.

There are some real questions about  this team, but the attitude of most SU fans when you ask them about Fair is one of calm and confidence. That’s no small feat when you consider that Fair is just a sophomore in a conference where experience is valued so highly. This is just one man’s opinion, but I think that mindset of ease can be at least partially attributed to the fact that a similar player in Josh Pace was a key player in SU’s 2003 title run. Fans are mostly confident in Fair because they saw a 200-pound player with similar tools play a complementary role for a championship team before, so why can’t it happen again? In addition, Boeheim’s comparison of this season’s team to the 2003 National Championship squad isn’t likely to assuage any of the excitement.

Fair is not a complete player, but he’s already shown what he can do against the best teams the Big East has to offer. Kris Joseph is a sure thing to stay in front of him on the depth chart, as he was last season, but he’ll be gone after the 2011-12 season. I’m not sure it’d be best for Fair to enter this season as a starter, or even become one as the team gets into Big East play, but I could be convinced otherwise if he keeps this up and the rest of the frontcourt doesn’t get its wrinkles ironed out. Until then, it seems like the ideal role for both Fair’s development as well as the team’s title chances is for him to be a “super-sub” once again, but maybe with a little more time than the 18.6 minutes per game he averaged last season. It will be fun to see how Jim Boeheim uses his deepest squad in years to advance as far as it can, but another thing to keep an eye on is how he grooms his sophomore to be a full-time player after Joseph graduates.

Midnight Madness Is Here

October 14, 2011 Leave a comment

…and with it, the official start of the season. I’ve been looking forward to today since the Orange lost to Marquette in the Tournament, but it still seems like the offseason has flown by.

While annually hosting a late practice and opening it to the general public is a more recent development at Syracuse (though I understand it was attempted in the past and didn’t catch on), it has quickly evolved into a tool that’s as much about recruiting, if not moreso, than selling tickets to the games and getting fans excited for the upcoming season. It wasn’t that long ago that Midnight Madness was something produced almost exclusively by the “Blueblood” programs, but as other schools have realized its potential as a marketing tool for recruits as well as fans, it has proliferated to the point where mid-majors are even getting in on the action and each school tries to outdo the rest.

In SU’s case, they have pulled out all the stops by organizing the Legends game. Some recruits may take into account a program’s tradition and history as much as the current staff and group of players with whom he’d be sharing the court. The return of some of the Orange’s most beloved and memorable icons from the past is a move that could pay huge dividends for the future, with vaunted recruits like Nerlens Noel, Goodluck Okonoboh and others scheduled to be in the house.

That’s not to say it isn’t great for us fans, too. If you’re like me, you’ve at least wondered to yourself and maybe argued at bars over how a team of Orange all-stars from different eras would fare against one another, and even though this is only an exhibition and some of them are getting on in years, we can at least see those players together. Tonight is also our first chance to check out the heralded class of freshmen in uniform and get a glimpse of the returning players, several of whom have reportedly taken considerable steps in their conditioning regimens.

I also have to give the program some props the last-minute overhaul it conducted. No one, except for possibly a collection of women pushing 40, would argue that Tone Loc and a “Jersey Shore” cast member would make for a more entertaining evening than the new lineup that has been constructed, so credit the various decision-makers here who came to that realization. While this blog is more about analyzing the team on the court than critiquing the various marketing gimmicks the school implements (though there’s been no shortage of chances to make this all about the latter), Midnight Madness is a tactic that could have a very significant impact in determining who is on the court in the seasons to come, and that makes it worth discussing here.

In a backhanded way, I should also thank the NBA’s owners for having enough greed and incompetent leadership to free up the players’ schedules. Without it, we’re still stuck with Funky Cold Medinas and GTL’ing. If the pro season went along as scheduled, perhaps Syracuse could still cobble together enough former players to put on a scrimmage – it would have a head start with the alums already on the staff – but it would definitely lack for the star power of a Hakim Warrick, Jonny Flynn or Wes Johnson. At this point, recruits are young enough that they probably don’t have any memories of someone who played even as recently as when Lawrence Moten suited up, and it isn’t possible for this event to pack that punch if the NBA is wrapping up the preseason instead of sitting around at conference tables.

As you can tell, I’m beyond jacked for the season to get underway. Who are you most psyched to see at Midnight Madness and what intra-‘Cuse matchup are you licking your chops for the most?

Hot On The Trail of Amile Jefferson

October 11, 2011 5 comments

Over the last few weeks, Syracuse’s interest in Philadelphia forward Amile Jefferson has heated up noticeably. When I first heard of SU’s involvement, I was a little surprised due to the fact that Jefferson’s size is very similar to Jerami Grant, who recently verbaled to Syracuse. On the surface, the physical tools are similar with both being around 6’7 and coming just shy of 200 pounds. Once I checked out some video and read some of the scouting reports that are out there, though, it became clear that Jefferson’s skill set is very different. I won’t draw up a Venn diagram, but I’ll simply state that while they look similar, Grant projects as more of a swingman in the Kris Joseph mold while Jefferson is building towards becoming a true power forward. While SU’s frontcourt is gaining some traction nationally, there are still a couple holes looking forward that Jefferson could fill.

Those who read me here know that I’m a little bearish on Syracuse’s ability to score from the post, this season as well as beyond. For the last several years, the team has flourished with back-to-the-basket weapons, whether it was Rick Jackson or Arinze Onuaku. When the Orange was missing NCAA Tournaments, it was largely because Donte’ Greene rarely created his own shot inside and Terrence Roberts struggled to find a groove offensively the year before. With Rick Jackson gone, there isn’t anyone on the current team who has demonstrated a reliable back-to-the-basket game. The point here is that when SU struggled in the middle of the last decade, the gaping hole was the lack of a formidable inside presence. I reserve the right to change my opinion based on what I see this season, and this year’s team is too talented in the other areas to suffer the same fate of sweating it out and coming up short on Selection Sunday, but I’ll welcome positively just about any news of SU being involved with anyone who can show off a few moves in the paint.

Outside of his skill set, the thing I like most about the scouting reports on Amile Jefferson is that they all mention his high intelligence on the floor. All indications point to him possessing an advanced sense of awareness, which would be a breath of fresh air. Even though the Orange notched its lowest turnover rate in seven years last season,  there were still lapses in judgment that didn’t always make it to the turnover column.

There’s also the matter of Hakim Warrick getting involved. Jefferson and Warrick went to the same high school, and Syracuse has had some very marketable success working with Philadelphia products. It’s probably because I didn’t grow up in a city with an NBA team*, but I really enjoy how the League’s work stoppage has led to players becoming more involved with their schools through exhibition games and the like. If the rumors that Carmelo Anthony will be in the house this Friday for Midnight Madness are true, it would make for a recruiting advantage that would be very hard for competing schools to top.

*Before the Sonics moved to Oklahoma City and renamed themselves, the closest teams to me were the Bulls and Mavericks, each about an eight-hour drive away. The Nuggets were the next closest at nearly ten hours.

The only real concern when it comes to Syracuse recruiting Jefferson isn’t with the player himself, but rather with SU’s scholarship scenario. Syracuse has two players set to exhaust their last season of eligibility in Joseph and Jardine, and with Grant on board, only one scholarship for the 2012-13 season remains. Many figure that it’s been set aside for Dajuan Coleman, which presents a little bit of a crunch in the numbers game. Maybe Dion Waiters has a tremendous season and leaves to pursue a pro career (or he comes to the same decision after repeated clashes with Jim Boeheim), opening up an extra scholarship. A less likely scenario involves Fab Melo realizing his star potential and goes pro; Perhaps it’s more feasible that Melo’s short temper and attitude concerns lead to him falling out of favor with the coaching staff to the point where it doesn’t make sense for him to stay, but that’s nothing more than speculation at this point.

The bottom line is that under the current circumstances, there isn’t room for both Jefferson and Coleman. However, we do know that Coleman is planning to make a decision in early November, so assuming he doesn’t change his timeline, the picture should sharpen sooner rather than later and it’ll be interesting to see how things pan out.

Wooden Watch and Jardine’s Climb On SU’s Assist List

October 4, 2011 2 comments

This week, the early watch list for the Wooden Award was released, and fortunate fans that we are, Syracuse’s two senior leaders were included with the mix. Before I go on, I want to make it clear that I don’t adjust expectations based on these lists. I know I’ve brought this up before, but one of the oddest things I’ve ever seen written about an SU player came along this time last season, when Brandon Triche was named to the Wooden watch list. It doesn’t mean I don’t like him or don’t think he’s a good player, just that it was astonishing to see him in that kind of company. As a freshman, Triche played slightly more than half of the available minutes as a prototypical complementary guard (even though he started the entire season) and was never a high priority in Jim Boeheim’s plans from a scoring standpoint. He may have disappointed last season, but I feel that way because his shooting efficiency went down and he flat-out disappeared at times, not because a body of voters felt particularly frisky last October.

This doesn’t mean I hate all awards, either. The Wooden Preseason Watch List does have some meaning to the casual fan. If you only follow one team closely and turn your attention to other things throughout the offseason, it’s a nice way to get acquainted with the top tier of players around the country as they get ready for the upcoming season. There tend to be a few outliers, and some are whittled out early while surprises enter the fray, but generally speaking, it serves a purpose.

Since we talked about Kris Joseph last week on the heels of the Blue Ribbon’s Preseason All-American picks being released, today is a convenient time to talk a little bit about Scoop Jardine. I tweeted this yesterday, and I remember stumbling across it even earlier, but it continues to fascinate me that with 211 assists this season, Scoop would catapult himself into fourth place on Syracuse’s all-time dishes list. For those of you wondering, Jardine totaled 205 assists his junior year, so 211 assists in 2010-11, or right around six per game in a 35-game season, is by no means unreachable.

Scoop’s climb is surprising to me because among the current top five (Sherman Douglas, Jason Hart, Gerry McNamara, Pearl Washington and Adrian Autry), four of them started every game they played – Douglas didn’t start a single game his freshman year, which makes his standing atop the list all the more impressive. Jardine, of course, sat behind Jonny Flynn his freshman year, but started ten games, and redshirted the next season while recovering from an injury. Even though Scoop led the Big East in assists last season, he’s more renowned for his streakiness in high-leverage situations, so his passing abilities don’t rush to the front of my mind when I hear him referenced.

Does he get to that monumental spot? That depends. Since recovering from the shin injury sustained in his freshman year, Jardine has played with a clean bill of health, a testament to his durability. He absorbed the lion’s share of minutes at the point guard spot last season and over the summer shed some weight in anticipation of another boatload of playing time. Two things may limit that hunt for fourth on the assists list, though: The absence of a scoring threat as reliable as Rick Jackson was and the arrival of Michael Carter-Williams. Perhaps Kris Joseph makes that leap we’re all waiting for him to make or Fab Melo shows a pulse down low, but that will take some time to bear out. Additionally, with Michael Carter-Williams on the bench, there is another point guard ready if Jardine’s exploits in the backcourt become too intense for Boeheim to bear. While Triche has filled in at point guard in the past and can do so capably, I really believe that Boeheim is set on keeping him as a shooting guard and opting to give the heir-apparent Carter-Williams some run when Jardine needs to sit.

Standing on all-time lists isn’t the end-all be-all, obviously, but it’s one of the many things that will make Scoop Jardine worth watching this season.