MBB : Jardine reflects on time spent at World University Games with Melo

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Scoop Jardine and Fab Melo were together for 12 days in August. On the surface, everything about their time together was normal. The SU basketball teammates hung out with each other in dorms daily. They ate breakfast together. And they played basketball, of course — eight games each.The elder Jardine made a point to be there for all of Melo’s games, giving him pointers after each one.‘I think Fab did a great job,’ Jardine said. ‘He played a lot of basketball. He’s a guy who just needs to play basketball and needs to become better.’But apart from the basketball, Jardine and Melo were together a half a world away in Shenzhen, China. They were together taking part in the World University Games — Melo was a part of Team Brazil and Jardine was a member of Team USA. For almost two weeks, the pair was isolated at the tournament as Melo’s legal situation back in Syracuse continued to linger.Melo is facing a misdemeanor charge of fourth-degree criminal mischief after he was accused of breaking the turn signal on his then-girlfriend’s car during an argument at Melo’s South Campus apartment May 30.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOn Sept. 9, Melo wore a World University Games T-shirt, shorts and sandals before one of the team’s afternoon workouts at the Carmelo K. Anthony Center. Around the corner, Jardine stood in the Hall of Fame wing of the Melo Center, fielding questions about his experience with Team USA for the first time. Melo was not available to the media.And when asked whether or not Jardine took time out in Shenzen to speak with Melo regarding his current legal situation, Jardine didn’t hesitate with his answer. Jardine said he didn’t talk to the sophomore about it at the tournament.‘Nope. Nope. We don’t do that,’ Jardine said. ‘It’s about basketball. Basketball takes away from all that. I don’t want to speak about that. But I know Fab had a great time over there, and that’s all we can focus on.’Simple as that, swears Jardine. Although they were physically half a world away from Syracuse, their thoughts regarding Melo’s legal situation were as well. Along the way, Jardine said he soaked up another side of Melo he had never seen before.Melo was in his element.‘Fab speaking another language, they spoke it all the time,’ Jardine said. ‘I was asking him what he was saying when he was talking to his teammates, and if I needed to say something to them.’The center started seven games for Brazil, averaging 8.4 points and 5.9 rebounds, while shooting 44.6 percent from the field. Jardine averaged 7.8 points and 14.8 minutes. He shot 55.8 percent from the field and started three games.No player on Team USA started more than five games in the tournament, as they finished with the tournament’s best record of 7-1, yet claimed fifth place after losing 76-74 to Lithuania in the quarterfinals.One month after the start of the games in Shenzhen, Melo and Jardine are back together again in Syracuse along with the rest of the SU basketball team. Jardine, the point guard, is prepping for the start of practice in a month as the Orange enters the season as a Final Four favorite.Melo is slated to be in the starting lineup right along with him. But his legal situation continues to hover. On Aug. 31, after two previous postponements in the Syracuse City Court’s domestic violence court, Syracuse City Judge Stephen Dougherty adjourned Melo’s case to Sept. 26 at the request of Melo’s defense lawyer Gary Sommer.No matter what happens on and after Sept. 26, Jardine says he will offer Melo his support, just as he did for two weeks in Shenzhen.‘Just my presence alone with Fab, Fab’s a great guy,’ Jardine said. ‘And just us being around each other for a summer — we would usually be here, but we were in another country. I was supporting him, he was supporting me.‘We were still representing Syracuse.’[email protected]center_img Published on September 12, 2011 at 12:00 pmlast_img

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