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Scoop Jardine Vs. Dwight Hardy: Match Up Key To Victory

On Monday, I wrote in my Big East Conference Notes column that Syracuse Orange junior point guard Scoop Jardine needs to play better if SU is going to make a run at the league title or Final Four.

Tonight, Jardine will get his chance to step up his game on the big stage, as the Orange (16-0, 3-0 Big East) travel to Madison Square Garden -- their home away from home -- to take on the St. John's Red Storm (10-4, 3-1).

Jardine will butt heads against St. John's starting point guard senior Dwight Hardy, who's probably the second-best guard in the Big East, the first has been Kemba Walker of the Connecticut Huskies.

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2010 - Scoop Jardine 16 30.9 4.7 10.6 44.1 1.3 4.6 28.8 3.1 4.5 69.4 0.3 1.8 2.1 6.0 2.6 1.8 0.3 1.2 13.8

If you haven't heard of Hardy, who was a New York City playground legend, start keeping track.

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2010 - Dwight Hardy 14 33.4 4.7 10.8 43.7 1.5 5.5 27.3 5.1 5.5 92.2 0.4 2.4 2.9 2.4 2.3 1.4 0.1 2.1 16.0

Already this season, Hardy has earned Big East Player Of The Week honors -- after averaging 20.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in victories against the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Providence Friars in the week ending in Jan. 2 -- and, over the last eight games, has netted 19.9 points-per game while shooting .526 from the field, including .957 from the free-throw line.

Hardy is doing most of his work in the second half of games, scoring 10.2 points and making 30 of 32 shots from the charity stripe.

In the MSG Holiday Festival Tournament championship game, which featured St. John's beating the Northwestern Wildcats, Hardy scored a team-best 24 points, which included five 3-pointers.

Currently, Hardy has scored 20 or more points in six of his last eight games.

Now, because SU plays defense in a 2-3 zone instead of a typical man-to-man setup, it wont be a guard-versus-guard showdown. However, make sure to keep an eye on how important each player's play has on his team's performance.

Notes for this piece were provided by Need to contact Jared? You can do so by e-mail: or via Twitter: Jared_E_Smith.