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Tag:William & Mary
Posted on: November 7, 2011 10:12 pm
 

Despite win, new St. John's era not as expected



By
Jeff Borzello

JAMAICA, N.Y. – The first half of Monday night’s opener against William & Mary certainly wasn’t what was envisioned with the talk of a new era in St. John’s basketball.

Steve Lavin at home recovering from prostate surgery; three top recruits ineligible for the start of the season; and a nine-point deficit to William & Mary in front of a lackluster crowd at Carnesecca Arena.

The second half, though, was the future – and present – at St. John’s. Overwhelming defensive pressure, effective transition offense and a youthful energy that has been missing from the Red Storm program for most of the past decade. Moreover, the 4500 fans in the building woke up and made it tough for William & Mary.

With four players scoring in double-figures, St. John’s dominated the second half en route to a 74-59 win over the Tribe. A 22-5 run after W&M scored to open the stanza put the Red Storm on top, with constant turnovers from the Tribe guards putting the game out of reach.

“The way we played in the second half is the way St. John’s plays,” freshman guard D’Angelo Harrison said.

Outside of 3-point shooting, St. John’s handled William & Mary in nearly all facets of the game. The Red Storm outscored the Tribe 44-10 in the paint, 28-0 off turnovers, 9-2 on second-chance opportunities and 16-0 in fast-break points. They forced 21 William & Mary turnovers and shot nearly 68 percent from the field in the second half.

St. John’s used seven players in the game, six of them newcomers and four of them playing college basketball for the first time. Despite the lack of depth, the Red Storm pressed throughout the game, drifting back into an active and aggressive 2-3 zone when William & Mary broke the full-court pressure.

Nurideen Lindsey (pictured) led the way with 19 points, the majority coming off steals and deflections that led to transition baskets at the other end. The athleticism and length of St. John’s simply wore down William & Mary in the second half.

“When the guys came out, we were a little tight,” Lindsey said. “We didn’t come out ready to play. We knew we had to turn it up a notch; we got more intense into the game. During halftime, we got together collectively and we understood that, defensively, that’s what we had to do.”

God’s Gift Achiuwa, the famously-named junior college transfer, went for 17 points and nine rebounds. More importantly, though, he stayed out of foul trouble and played 38 minutes. Moe Harkless had 17 points and eight rebounds.

During the first half, it seemed like St. John’s was looking for someone to take the reins in the huddle and be a leader. Harrison took on that role in the second half, becoming the emotional and vocal general the Red Storm needed. Once the intensity was there, talent simply took over.

“You can say it brought us together,” Harrison said. “Every game is an experience for us.”

“We were just playing basketball out there,” Harkless added. “I couldn’t really predict how the first game would go, but it’s definitely a great feeling.”

When Harkless first committed to St. John’s in August of 2010, no one knew what to expect. What followed was a whirlwind of commitments from across the country, both high school and junior college. There were three casualties along the way – Amir Garrett, JaKarr Sampson, Norvel Pelle – but the new faces of St. John’s basketball were still unknown to most people.

Tonight might have been the culmination of all the hype and anticipation of the last 15 months – or are we still waiting for the page to turn in Red Storm basketball lore? Lavin still hasn't returned and at least two recruits are waiting to be cleared.

This wasn’t Steve Lavin coaching Norm Roberts’ players. Heck, it wasn’t even Steve Lavin coaching Steve Lavin’s players.

But make no mistake; this is a new era in St. John’s basketball – even if it’s not how everyone pictured it.

Photo: US Presswire

Posted on: August 17, 2011 4:42 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 5:39 pm
 

CAA Offseason Report

By Jeff Goodman

CAA Offseason Report

Delaware – Phil Martelli Jr. came from Niagara and took the spot opened when R.C. Kehoe left to become the head coach at Holy Family. Delaware will play at Villanova (11-18), at BU (11-30), vs. La Salle (12-19) and vs. Temple (12-30) in the non-conference. Malcolm Hawkins transferred out of the program while Carl Baptiste (St. Joe’s) came in and will sit out this year.

Drexel – The Dragons will play in the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands from Nov. 18-21. Bruiser Flint’s team has a non-league schedule that includes games at Rider (11-15), at St. Joe’s (11-30), vs. Bradley (12-17) and vs. Princeton (12-10).

George Mason – New coach Paul Hewitt has put together the following staff: Roland Houston (GW), Mike Wells (NBA), Chris Kreider (Georgia Southern) and retained director of basketball operations Scott Lombardi. The Patriots will play in the Preseason NIT (the Virginia Tech pod) and open against Florida International. Hewitt’s team will also have non-league games at Virginia (12-6), vs. Duquesne (12-21) and at College of Charleston (12-30). Luke Hancock (Louisville) and Rashad Whack (Mount St. Mary’s) left while George Mason added Anali Okoloji (Seton Hall).

Georgia State – Ron Hunter came over from IUPUI and assembled the following staff: Darryl LaBarrie, Everick Sullivan, Claude Pardue and Tony Bollier as the director of basketball operations. The Panthers will play in the Basketball Travelers Invitational at Washington along with Portland and FAU. Georgia State will also play Rhode Island (12-10) in a non-conference contest. Two players transferred out – Javonte Maynor and Harold Doby – while Manny Atkins has come in from Virginia Tech and will sit out this season. Jordan DeMercy will be eligible this year after transferring from Florida State.

Hofstra – Pat Sellars, formerly at UConn, has replaced Allen Griffin (Dayton). The Pride will be in the Legends Classic and also play home non-league games against Long Island (11-13), and Iona. Paul Bilbo (Mercyhurst), Roland Brown and Yves Jules (Fairleigh Dickinson) all transferred out while Jamal Coombs-McDaniel (UConn) and Taran Buie (Penn State) both came in. Stevie Mejia (URI) is also eligible after sitting out last season.

James Madison – Bill Phillips replaced Kevin Hargrove as the director of basketball operations. The Dukes will play in the Hoop Group Classic (11-22/25) and will also be at Central Florida’s Holiday Tournament, along with Rhode Island and Stetson, from 12-29/30. JMU will also play against Kent State (12-6) and at George Washington (12-22) in the non-conference schedule. Chad Jackson transferred to Northern Kentucky while A.J. Davis is eligible this season after transferring from Wyoming a year ago.

Northeastern – Bill Coen’s team will play at St. John’s (11-26), at N.C. State (12-22) and at home against Southern Illinois (11-19) in the non-conference. Alex Harris transferred out while Kashif Edwards, who averaged 12.4 points last season at Niagara, came in as a grad student and is eligible for this season.

Old Dominion – The biggest news of the offseason for the Monarchs is the missing ‘stache. Actually, coach Blaine Taylor got ride of his famous mustache. Drew Williamson replaced Joel Hines as the director of basketball operations and ODU added video coordinator Chris Kovensky. Old Dominion will be in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off (11-19/20) and also have a non-conference slate that includes games vs. Iowa (11-12), vs. Missouri (12-30) in Norfolk, at Richmond (12-20) and at Central Florida (12-17). Donte Hill becomes eligible on Dec. 17 after transferring in from Clemson last year.

Towson – New coach Pat Skerry hired Kevin Clark (Rhode Island), Luke Murray (Wagner), Kenny Johnson and Duane Simpkins as his director of basketball operations. The Tigers will play in the Mainland portion of the Maui Invitational and also have non-league contests at Kansas (11-11), at Michigan (11-14), vs. Oregon State (11-26), at UMass (11-30) and at Virginia (12-30). Isaiah Philmore (Xavier), Braxton Dupree, Dre Conner and Cephas Oglesby all left while Jerrelle Benimon (G’Town) and Mike Burwell (South Fla.) both transferred in.

UNC-Wilmington – Buzz Peterson’s team is currently in the Bahamas. Matt McMahon (Murray State) and Kevin Norris (FGCU) both left; Brooks Lee was promoted to assistant coach, Andre Gray was hired and the director of basketball operations spot remains open. The Seahawks will play at Maryland (11-13), at Dayton (11-19), vs. Marshall (11-22), vs. Davidson (11-26) and at Wake Forest (12-21) in the non-league. Matthew Wallace transferred out of the program.

VCU – Mike Jones (Radford) and Kyle Getter were replaced by Jamion Christian (William & Mary) and new director of basketball operations Mike Morrell (Charleston Southern). The Rams will play in the Charleston Classic and also have a non-league slate that includes games at Alabama (11-27), at Western Kentucky (11-23), vs. South Florida (11-30), at Akron (12-29), vs. UAB (12-20), vs. Richmond (12-10) and against George Washington on Dec. 4 in the BT&T Classic in D.C. Toby Veal left the program.

William & Mary – Kotie Kimble replaced Jamion Christian, who left for VCU. The Tribe will play in the Coaches vs. Cancer event and also have non-conference contests vs. Richmond (11-30), at Missouri (12-18) and vs. Iona (12-21).

Offseason reports: Big 12 Pac-12 | Big Ten | ACC | Big East SEC | A-10
 
 
 
 
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