Scoop Jardine doesn’t like labels — especially when it comes to describing his basketball game.
When asked to describe his style of play, Jardine just shrugged.
“You guys are supposed to come up with that stuff, I mean you are the writers,” Jardine said. “You guys watch me enough.”
For those who have watched Jardine this season, they have seen a player who has adapted and adjusted his game.
Flash back to Dec. 4 when then-No. 7 Syracuse hosted North Carolina State. The Orange escaped with a 65-59 win, and Jardine was the focal point of the win, but not necessarily in a good way.
That night, Jardine looked to score before he looked to pass. The starting point guard had 23 points on 7-for-21 shooting.
“The only guy that is getting a lot of shots is Scoop (Jardine), and he has to find people,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “He probably has to take six or seven fewer shots and give it to people as more of a scorer than a point guard.”
Jardine has heeded Boeheim’s advice.
Since that game, Jardine has only been in double figures in shooting twice. Against Drexel on Dec. 22, Jardine hit 9-of-10 shots. And on Dec. 28 against Providence, Jardine took 11 shots, hitting six of them.
He is also limiting his turnovers. His 2.51 assist-to-turnover ratio is the best of his career.
“He is the only real point guard we have,” Boeheim said. “The other two guys can handle the ball, but Scoop is really our point guard who makes plays and gets the ball in the right places.”
Once Jardine understood that, he became more effective.
Jardine has averaged 19 points and seven assists over his past three games, while shooting 66 percent from the field. Jardine capped off that three-game stretch with 15 points and nine assists on 5-for-9 shooting against Notre Dame on Jan. 1.
Put simply, Jardine was a different player than he was in the N.C. State game.
“Early on, I was turning the ball over because I was trying to do too much,” Jardine said. “So, I’ve really made an effort to just be patient and take what the defense gives me.”
Wesley Cheng is the Editor in Chief for The Juice Online.