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Friday, July 15, 2011
Syracuse guards slimming down

By Eamonn Brennan

The debate over whether Ohio State forward Jared Sullinger should lose weight is a fluid one. Sullinger will likely be even more dynamic and versatile with the trimmer frame, but will he lose some of his strength in the post? Do you really want your dominant big man to shed too much weight? How much will it change his game?

The benefits of guards losing weight is far less debatable. It's almost certainly a good thing. To that end, Syracuse fans ought to be pleased with today's report from the Post-Standard, in which Brandon Triche and Scoop Jardine confirm they're in the process of dropping about 15 pounds each in order to become quicker, more agile and less likely to tire from the strain of long minutes in Big East play.
Both of SU’s starting guards have shed weight this summer in an effort to streamline their bodies to faster, more efficient basketball machines. Triche estimates he’s lost about 15 pounds from his playing peak last season; Jardine said he’s lost seven pounds and plans to eliminate five more. “We’re big guards, but we want to get our weight down so we can be quicker and also play longer,” Jardine said. “We gonna load a lot of minutes this year, me and Brandon, so I just want to be in shape and be able to play longer.”

Donna Diota notes that Triche has already looked faster with the ball in summer workouts, which is good news for a guard whose weight fluctuated throughout the 2010-11 season and who believes he's much more dynamic when he keeps his weight down around 200 pounds, rather than last season's high of 220. For Jardine, one motivating factor -- beyond the upcoming season, of course -- is an impending tryout with the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s World University Games Team, a team chaired by Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim.
“I’ve been working out three times a day and getting in the best shape as possible,” Jardine said. “First and foremost, I want to make the team. Secondly, you gotta be in the best shape to go up there in Colorado Springs and play with how high it is [altitude]. Those are the two things I’m focusing on, but the most important thing is just continuing the great summer that I’ve been having. I’ve been going everywhere, showing people how I can play.”

Three workouts a day? Chalk it up as yet another reason college basketball players look way better than you in those tight mesh tank tops you try to wear during your pickup games.

Anyway, if Syracuse is going to have a big year, Triche and Jardine are going to have to be rock-solid in the backcourt. That's something the duo was unable to accomplish during the team's up-and-down 2010-11 season. The weight loss should help. At the very least, it's a surefire step in the right direction.