College Basketball: Syracuse Basketball Point Shaving Scandal

Posted by TJ Corbs on February-1-2011 Add Comments

Are Syracuse players shaving points for gambling purposes?

YNN’s Andy Adamson has reported that Syracuse men’s basketball players, Scoop Jardine, Dion Waiters and James Southerland are involved in a point shaving scandal at Syracuse.

Syracuse started the season 18-0, with some very impressive wins, but have lost their last four games. 

Most have chalked the slump up to life in the Big East, as the best conference in the land is a brutal gauntlet night after night.  Three of the four losses came to power schools, Pitt, Villanova and Marquette.

However, there was one very odd loss in the mix.  Syracuse was blown out at home by Seton Hall.  Many called this the worst home loss for a top 10 team post New Year’s in the history of college basketball.  Seton Hall is a horrible team, with a coach who is in over his head, and players who have quit on the season.  Seton Hall is so bad they may be kicked out of the Big East.

College basketball has a bad history with point shaving scandals.  Schools like CUNY and Saint Joseph’s (PA) have thrown away seasons for a couple of extra dollars.  The one school that is most notorious for shaving points is Boston College, who has had major scandals in both basketball and football in the past 30 years.

It will be interesting to see how Syracuse responds to this scandal.  Will they use it as motivation to succeed?  Will it ultimately be the downfall of the team?  Will the players involved face disciplinary action?

It should be noted that Dion Waiters did not play in Syracuse’s last game, his first DNP of the season.  Waiters was a 42% shooter prior to this four game stretch, and he had only topped 7 shots in a game once during a hot shooting 5 for 8 effort against Iona.  In his last four games, Waiters was shooting 16%, including his season highs for shot attempts for his career.  Waters career high had been 4 three point attempts in a game.  Waiters averaged 4 three point attempts per game over this stretch.

James Southerland also sat out Syracuse’s last game, after averaging approximately 20 mpg during the Big East season.  Southerland, a frontcout rebounder, grabbed only 3 rebounds during this suspect stretch.  This is lower than his per game average on the boards entering this stretch, and well below the 8 boards he grabbed in his game immediately prior to this stretch.

Also of great interest is Scoop Jardine’s shooting over this 4 game stretch.  Jardine was shooting 44% entering this 4 game stretch.  During the 4 games, Jardine has gone 14 for 43 (32%).  Coincidence?

TJ Corbs – Tackling the hard hitting issues of the Northeast Corridor.

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