SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Antonio "Scoop" Jardine will redshirt this season because of a stress fracture in his left leg, Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim said yesterday.

During his freshman season at Syracuse, the former Neumann-Goretti standout was suspended for two games for using a stolen student ID card and faced charges of sexual assault that were ultimately dismissed by a grand jury. On the court, the 6-foot-1 guard played through pain in his left leg without telling anyone until the team's last game.

The leg has not healed yet, so Jardine will sit out the season. However, the sophomore is taking a positive approach after his tumultuous first year.

"It's made me so much better," he said. "Like Coach says, sometimes you have to take a step back to take two steps forward. That's what I did to see what I really want out of college and out of life. It really showed when I almost had my college career taken away from me, almost being kicked out of school. I had to sit back and see what I wanted in life. And now I know what I really want."

That means staying at Syracuse and keeping out of trouble. The redshirt year should help achieve those goals.

"It's not going to be hard [sitting out]," Jardine said. "It will be a year of patience. I have a year to get healthy and get smarter."

Boeheim said his staff made the decision to redshirt Jardine because his leg had not healed enough in the six months since Syracuse's final game in the NIT.

"Last week, he had a lot of pain," Boeheim said. "We don't want him to try and play with that situation. We would like to see him get completely recovered, and I think that could take two or three months to be 100 percent."

Jardine averaged 5.5 points in 19.6 minutes per game, starting 10 contests last season. He said he did not tell anyone about the injury because he had to "tough it out," considering the team's lack of depth at guard.

Best friend and roommate Rick Jackson, another Neumann-Goretti graduate, had his suspicions.

"I kind of knew because he was limping on it, and it was bruised," Jackson said. "I thought he was hurt, but he kept saying he was fine."

If anything, Jardine said, the year off the court will help him to continue learning from his freshman mistakes.

"I got to see who was really there for me and who wasn't," he said. "There were some tough decisions, but you have to live with them and move on."