MBB : Jardine suspended for ‘violaton of university policy’
Freshman guard Scoop Jardine was suspended indefinitely from Syracuse due to a ‘violation of university policy’ Orange head coach Jim Boeheim said.
Boeheim would not further comment on the suspension, which players said they found out about Saturday morning before practice.
Jardine was at the game and sat on the bench wearing an orange sweater and jeans. He practiced with the team all week, including Saturday.
The suspension of Jardine means Syracuse has now lost three starters and five total scholarship players since the beginning of the season. Jardine joins the injured Eric Devendorf and Andy Rautins along with the departed Josh Wright and Devin Brennan-McBride.
After the game, the players would not elaborate on the details of the suspension, and Jardine was not available for comment. Donte Greene wouldn’t even answer any questions regarding Jardine.
Backcourt mate Jonny Flynn said losing Jardine was a huge blow to Syracuse.
‘It’s tough, man,’ Flynn said. ‘You see everybody going down like that. We’re so close – we’re like brothers. Just to see each other going down, it hurts. Not even to a basketball point, just seeing your friend sitting out, knowing he can’t play anymore.’
Jardine played in 39 minutes last Monday at Georgetown. He scored zero points on 0-for-3 shooting, had one assist, four turnovers and no rebounds.
Since Devendorf tore his ACL on Dec. 15, Jardine started every game for the Orange, averaging 7.3 points and 3.7 assists in 10 games.
Junior college transfer Kristof Ongenaet started in place of Jardine, making his first career start. Paul Harris moved to the backcourt, a position he was familiar with after playing guard all of last season.
Ongenaet played 24 minutes and tallied six points and eight rebounds, along with four fouls and three turnovers. The junior from Belgium scored Syracuse’s first points of the game, just less than two minutes in, on a reverse layup. He said he knew before Saturday’s practice that he would be starting his first game.
‘It’s a good start,’ Ongenaet said. ‘I need to get those rebounds. That’s the priority from coach, to get a defensive stop. Then, any points I can get is a bonus for us.’
Without Jardine, Syracuse used a seven-man rotation, of which six players were on scholarship. The lone bench players were freshman center Rick Jackson and junior walk-on Justin Thomas.
Thomas entered the game with 1:28 to go in the first half, the first time he’s played in the first 20 minutes this season. Boeheim said he hadn’t played a walk-on in the first half before Sunday.
‘We’ve never played walk-ons here, we’ve always had enough guys,’ Boeheim said. ‘But they’re going to play now.’
Thomas played a total of three minutes in the entire game, registering a turnover. With 52 seconds left in the first half, Thomas had the ball at the top of the key, thought about shooting, but when he made his pump fake and picked up his dribble, he moved his pivot foot for a traveling violation.
‘Yeah, I thought about (shooting) it,’ Thomas said, sheepishly. ‘I’m not really a shoot-first type player. I was really trying to get in there and create for somebody else. It happens.’
Playing primarily as a guard for the first time this season, Harris had two assists against six turnovers. Both Ongenaet and Harris finished with four fouls.
Flynn said the dynamics of the Syracuse lineup changes without Jardine as an option.
‘Scoop is just a great ball-handler and a great penetrator,’ Flynn said. ‘Just trying to replace that … Paul, he can do it, but Scoop is just tremendous at getting in the lane and finding guys, hitting the mid-range shots. Trying to replace Scoop, that’s going to be a hard thing to do.’
And Jackson, Jardine’s high-school friend and teammate, as well as his college roommate, admitted it was difficult seeing Jardine on the sidelines with nothing to do.
‘He’s on the sidelines. He’s telling me what to do,’ Jackson joked. ‘I wish he could be out there, but … it’s hard.’
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