December 08, 2010
Syracuse's wayward jump shooting has caused plenty of griping among fans recently, so the Orange faithful had to chuckle Tuesday night at point guard Scoop Jardine's attempt to set up forward Rick Jackson for a first-half alley-oop.
As a pass, it was well off the mark. As a shot, it was a thing of beauty.
The off-balance 20-foot pass ... err ... jump shot must have rejuvenated Jardine because the Syracuse point guard sank a more conventional 3-pointer on the next possession. He finished with a game-high 19 points on 7-for-9 shooting, quite an improvement over his anemic 16-of-63 shooting in Syracuse's previous five games.
Outside shooting remains a huge concern for a Syracuse team that is making just 29.7 percent of its 3-point attempts this season, but a 2-for-11 night behind the arc didn't hurt the Orange in an impressive 72-58 victory over Michigan State. Syracuse pounded the ball inside to Jackson, flummoxed the Spartans with its signature 2-3 zone and created opportunities in transition off defensive stops, generating offense without having to rely on the jump shot.
Unless Jardine, Kris Joseph and Brandon Triche start knocking down more attempts from the perimeter, that's the formula Syracuse might want to follow for the remainder of the season. Well, either that or more errant alley-oop passes.