The Dag Bag – The blown over-and-back call

Got a question for Matt? E-mail him at and he’ll answer it in his next Dag Bag.

Matt’s been busy doing other things, so I’m going to take over this week answering some of the e-mails he’s been getting recently:

What do you think about the NCAA admitting the blown call on Sunday?

For those of you who haven’t heard, John Adams, the NCAA’s head of officiating, released a statement on Tuesday saying that the officials during the Syracuse-Marquette game on Sunday made a mistake on Scoop Jardine going over-and-back. At the time, the score was tied 59-59 with 52 seconds left and Marquette went on to win 66-62.

“I have reviewed the play in question and it appears from the video that we have seen, that an error was made in applying the backcourt violation rule (Rule 4.3.8),” Adams said in a statement. “The Syracuse player made a legal play and no violation should have been called.”

You’re probably wondering what Rule 4.3.8 states: “After a jump ball or during a throw-in, the player in his/her front court, who makes the initial touch on the ball while both feet are off the playing court, may be the first to secure control of the ball and land with one or both feet in the back court. It makes no difference if the first foot down was in the front court or back court.”

I have a few thoughts on this:

1. Yes, the official blew the call, but so did Scoop Jardine. When the pass sailed wide, Jardine tried to toe the halfcourt line, and you only do that if you think you’re about to be called for over-and-back. I can’t put myself in the place of an official, but I would think that how Scoop reacted when the play happened would only draw the official’s attention to it. It was also a bad pass from Dion. It’s easy to put the blame on the officials, but without Dion and Scoop’s mistakes, it never becomes a factor. The Orange can’t control the officials, but they can control what they do on the court.

2. We’re assuming too much of what would’ve happened afterward here. It’s not a given that the Orange would’ve won if the inbounds had gone smoothly. Best case scenario, Syracuse scores on that possession and Jae Crowder’s 3 never happens. But maybe Kris Joseph could’ve barreled down the lane and been whistled for an offensive foul. Or, Jackson could’ve been doubled and triple teamed and thrown away the ball. Perhaps Scoop would’ve taken an ill-advised, off-balance and unnecessary 3 with plenty of time left on the shot clock with the game on the line. Oh wait, that actually happened? Nevermind.

3. I was trying to explain what happened to one of my friends, and she asked, “What’s the point in announcing it now if there’s no recourse?” Exactly. It’s academic at this point. It’s not like the NCAA is going to put 52 seconds back on the clock and have the two teams start from there. It’s over. Syracuse lost. Time to move on to the next thing.

Did you see Scoop is coming back next year?

For those of you who aren’t Twitter friendly, Scoop’s tweet said: “What’s up tweeps.. I’m back on this twitter thing for a while. Best believe I heard all the negative things that was said about me.. #thanks”

It’s not particularly surprising to me. Scoop isn’t an NBA prospect and he’s got another year of eligibility left.

Listen, I like Scoop a lot. He’s a friendly person and he’s overcome a lot of things in his personal life to get to where he is today. He’s even improved his physique, his jumper and even led the Big East in assists this season. I can also appreciate that he has the gumption and moxie to take the big shots, especially when no one else on Syracuse seems to want to step up.

But too many times, we’ve been subjected to his scOOPS, the over-and-back being the latest of his mistakes. Whether is an untimely charge, a bad lob or an errant pass, Jardine is still one of the most frustrating players to watch. That being said, SU lives and dies by the Scoop and he’s unquestionably our most important player. He’s got one more season to prove that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

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About Wes Cheng 2907 Articles
Wes has worked for covering the New York Knicks, as well as for covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also been a contributing writer for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), for SportsNet New York (SNY) as a news desk writer covering all of New York professional sports, and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005 with a degree in journalism. Contact him at wes[at]