St. John’s has rebounded from one of its worst ever losses, the 84-81 embarrassment suffered at the hands of Fordham last Saturday, with a gritty win in the Holiday Classic at Madison Square Garden last night. In the marquee matchup of the evening, Steve Lavin’s crew overcame a 3 point halftime deficit, and “lit up” the scoreboard with a whopping 38 spot, on its way to a 62-57 win over a young but pretty good Davidson squad, coached by Long Island’s own Bob McKillop.
On paper, we hated the matchup, knowing McKillop’s reputation for scrappy, well coached teams, and knowing St. John’s reputation these days, period. But then again, Lavin and his heavyweight coaching militia had some 9 days to get the team ready for this tilt, and surely fired the boys up heading into their first game of the year at Madison Square Garden. The Johnnies were led by D.J. Kennedy’s 7-9 from the field and 17 total, along with 9 rebounds. To be honest, we are talking about a horrible basketball game, and frankly, we would be hard pressed to recall a game in which we saw more missed layups that didn’t even draw iron. But a win is a win is a win, as unseemly as it was. Sickened were we once again with the woeful point guard play as St. John’s totaled just 8 assists, while Boothe and Stith combined to make one (1) field goal and teamed for a mighty 5 points. Maybe Lavin can bring in Knicks’ star Amar’e Stoudemire as a guest to chew out the pathetic crew of ones as he did in Cleveland Saturday night when he loudly criticized Toney Douglass for playing 23 minutes without an assist.
At least the apple of eye and who we consider the only player worth watching on the team, Dwayne Polee II, contributed 6 points on 3 of 5 shooting, and made it look easy, albeit in limited minutes. St. John’s looks for its second invitational tournament win this evening, and enjoys home court advantage, when they face Northwestern at 9:30 PM on the Garden floor. For some reason, we have a good feeling about the game, though we’d advise you watch on an empty stomach.
More good news for the Johnnies came this afternoon when Quincy Roberts, a 6’5 guard from Harrisburg, Pa. announced that he would transfer, perhaps as early as the spring semester. Roberts plight would highlight the woeful recruiting acumen of Norm Roberts. Under Lavin, and with pretty awful guards ahead of him on the depth chart, Quincy Roberts had played in just 4 games this season and has yet to make a meaningful contribution. We highly doubt that Lavin chased after Roberts after the announcement came down.
Lately there has been rampant speculation that St. John’s has saved one of its remaining scholarships for sick California prospect by way of France, Remi Barry, who is better than Roberts by a mile in every facet of the game, and is longer, bigger, and more athletic as well. Barry had gushed over his visit to St. John’s this summer, and called Steve Lavin ‘a guy you can trust.’
We have a good feeling about tonight’s game for some reason. And we want desperately to be right. There is a huge difference between 6-4 and 7-3.
LET’S GO REDMEN!