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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / May 27.
  • Scoop Dreaming of Joining Melo on Knicks

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    Antonio “Scoop” Jardine has known Carmelo Anthony since Jardine’s early days at Syracuse.

    Since then, Melo has become like an older brother to Jardine, the point guard who led Syracuse to the No. 1 ranking for much of this past college season before the Orange crashed out at the hands of Ohio State in the Elite Eight.

    “When I got there [Syracuse] he came up there and did the ribbon cutting for the Melo Center beginning of my [sophomore] year,” Jardine said of Anthony following his workout with the Knicks Wednesday.

    “I got to play with him a little bit and he took a liking to me there and he came back to Midnight Madness [last year] and I got his number and I talked to him throughout the whole season. He¬†was on me the whole year to keep leading the guys and every game I got a text from him and I think that’s what helped me lead the guys and I think that’s why we had a great year.”

    Jardine has been in touch with Anthony and Knicks point guard Baron Davis, whom he also referred to as a “big brother,” and said he would love the opportunity to join the Knicks.

    New York owns the No. 48 pick in the June 28 NBA Draft, having traded their first-round pick to the Houston Rockets in the Tracy McGrady deal.

    “It would be the easiest job in America, to throw passes to Melo and get out the way,” Jardine, a Philadelphia native who averaged 8.3 points and 4.7 assists, said with his trademark broad smile.

    “It would be a dream come true. Actually going to Syracuse he was one of the reasons so to actually play alongside him would be great for myself and the opportunity to show what I can do because I’m with one of the best players in the world so that helps my confidence.”

    Assuming they resign Jeremy Lin, the Knicks are looking for help at the point guard spot and could opt to both draft a young floor general and pursue a veteran like Steve Nash, Jameer Nelson, Andre Miller or Raymond Felton on the free agent market.

    In addition to Jardine, the Knicks also worked out Long Island product Tu Holloway of Xavier Wednesday and will bring in Iona’s Scott Machado, also a Long Island native, on Thursday.

    “I think a couple guys went down last year,” Jardine said. “They lost Iman [Shumpert] and they lost Baron [and] Jeremy Lin, so I think there’s a lot of opportunity there at the guard spot and you just gotta go in any situation and try to take what’s given.”

    Both Jardine and Holloway said they felt their workouts went well.

    “I played really well,” said ¬†Jardine, who’s repped by Justin Zanik of Andy Miller’s agency “In this type of atmosphere you just want to show that your’e a leader, compete at all times and just show great ability to make plays off the pick and roll and I think I’ve done all three.”

    Jardine is not the most athletic point guard, but he’s heady and he’s a leader and he believes his game would translate well to the NBA despite playing in Jim Boeheim’s vaunted zone defense all these years.

    “I think defense is really awareness and heart,” he said. “Your speed level laterally is a part but I think if you have awareness and know where a guy’s going to go, you can put yourself in a position.”

    Still, one veteran NBA scout said he didn’t envision Jardine getting drafted.

    “Outstanding college player, great career, had his best games when the lights were brightest against the best opponents,” the scout said.

    “And could make a team, probably a free agent. Won’t be drafted. Most likely have to start in the minor leagues.”

    Jardine came to the Knicks workout after landing at 2 a.m. Wednesday following a workout with the San Antonio Spurs.

    “This one was a little bit more easier, being as I knew what to expect,” he said.

    “The best thing is I’m in shape. I lost eight pounds since the season was over and I think that’s the best thing…Just taking care of your body because this is about to be a crazy process.”

    Jardine said he’s still not over the Elite Eight loss to Ohio State, but said he received six or seven text messages of support from teammates entering the Knicks workout.

    Now Jardine is dreaming of joining his mentor Anthony on the Knicks.

    “[It would mean] everything,” he said. “It would be like I’m playing for Syracuse all over again. I know I’ll be a crowd favorite and the ‘Scoop’ chant won’t stop.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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