MBB : Joseph sits out 2nd half; Jardine has strongest performance of season

first_imgJim Boeheim typically starts the same five players in the second half that he uses to start a game. The Syracuse head coach has done so consistently in the early games this season. But against Colgate, the Orange head coach made a change.Kris Joseph, SU’s leading scorer entering Saturday’s game, did not start the second half while sophomore C.J. Fair took his place on the court. And while Joseph changed seats on the bench a couple times, he did not play at all in the second half.‘Kris Joseph hurt his knee a little bit in the last game and it hurt a little bit in practice,’ Boeheim said. ‘He could’ve played the second half, but it was sore and it was stiff so we’re just going to try to get him healthy for next week.’Boeheim was thinking ahead to the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-off in New York City when SU takes on Virginia Tech on Wednesday. The Orange built a 33-point halftime lead Saturday against Colgate en route to its 92-47 romp in the Carrier Dome. And with the game well in hand by the break, the head coach felt it would be better to let Joseph rest his bad knee.The senior small forward came into Saturday’s contest averaging 16.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. He also led the Orange in scoring last year.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textJoseph had surgery on his right knee in the offseason but his left knee is the one that has caused some problems this year. He played 13 minutes in the first half Saturday, going 0-for-2 but making all four of his free throw attempts to finish with four points against the Red Raiders. He also had two assists, a rebound and two turnovers.The senior did not appear to be limping at all during the action and he had no trouble getting up to celebrate late in the game when the Orange’s walk-ons managed to score.And while Joseph has been a major part of the team early on, Boeheim said his absence in the second half provided another opportunity to give other players some experience.‘We got a lot of guys in there who aren’t used to what this is all about,’ Boeheim said. ‘Hopefully, we’ll be pretty well prepared going to New York.’Jardine has strongest performance of seasonFrom the get-go, this was a different Scoop Jardine. The ill-advised decisions of the season’s opening games were gone. The poise of a fifth-year senior shone through in its place.‘I’m really settling in to my role,’ Jardine said. ‘The first two games were kind of tough, trying to make things happen that weren’t there.’But Saturday, Jardine orchestrated the offense comfortably and efficiently. In only 16 minutes of play the result of a 92-47 blowout over Colgate Jardine had his best game of the young season for the Orange. He scored 11 points, dished out six assists and had three steals. And most importantly, he had zero turnovers.Within the first five minutes of Saturday’s win, Jardine’s play was markedly different from his first few games.After pulling in a rebound off a missed 3-pointer by Pat Moore with 17:34 remaining in the first half, Jardine took off down court on the fast break. A behind-the-back dribble led to a beautiful dish to Joseph. And though Joseph missed, it was the magnificent feed that stuck out.On Colgate’s next trip down the floor, Jardine stripped Raiders guard Mitch Rolls and took the ball all the way to the basket for the layup.Seconds later, he hit Baye Keita with a perfect one-handed shovel pass, resulting in a shooting foul.‘I don’t have to do it all on this team,’ Jardine said. ‘I know when my opportunities to score, I know when they’ll be there. But right now, we’ve got a lot of guys that can score. I just have to be efficient, get us in our offense and play great defense and just be that team leader.’Though the much-improved performance came in reduced minutes against Colgate, it was a positive sign for the Orange. Dion Waiters and Brandon Triche still combined for 25 points in addition to Jardine’s 11. The result was a strong collective effort from SU’s three experienced guards for the first time all season.‘But tonight, you’ve seen the Scoop Jardine that you wanted to see all year,’ Jardine said. ‘I’m going to be better.’[email protected]@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 19, 2011 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Commentslast_img

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