Posted on: December 21, 2009 1:19 pm
Here's Monday's Dear Gary ...
Dear Gary: Do you seriously think St. John's is one of the best 25 teams in the country?
I seriously don't know.
And I can understand why you'd be skeptical.
But based on what's happened, how can St. John's not be ranked?
The Red Storm are 9-1, and the lone loss came by nine points at Duke, which is notable because Duke has shown its capable of blowing out opponents. Just ask Charlotte and Gonzaga. Meantime, St. John's has wins over a Siena team that was ranked in the preseason, a Georgia team that just beat Illinois, and a Temple team that is now ranked 21st thanks to wins over No. 8 Villanova, Virginia Tech and Seton Hall.
So what's not to like?
Could St. John's lose its next game to Cornell?
Could St. John's start Big East play 1-2 with losses to Georgetown and Louisville?
Could St. John's go on to finish in the bottom half of the Big East?
But right now, based on what's happened to this date, the Red Storm deserve to be ranked.
So that's why I ranked them.
And that's why others should've ranked them, too.
Posted on: October 20, 2009 2:42 pm
Edited on: October 20, 2009 2:43 pm
I recorded a video with CBSSports.com's Jason Horowitz this morning in which I explained how the key to Norm Roberts keeping his job at St. John's might be the return of Anthony Mason Jr. Shortly thereafter, it was announced that Mason is out four-to-six weeks with a hamstring injury, and don't you just feel sick for Norm Roberts?
"We're disappointed for Anthony because we know he wants to be out there," Roberts said. "We have to give him time to recover so when he joins us on the court, he'll be 100 percent."
Mason, you might remember, averaged 14.0 points per game as a junior in the 2007-08 season, but played only three games last season before an MRI revealed that he suffered a torn peroneal tendon in his right foot against Boston College. The 6-foot-7 forward missed the rest of the season, and received a medical hardship from the NCAA to play this season. But he injured his hamstring early last month and reaggravated it this past weekend.
Now the school is taking a cautious approach.
St. John's will start the season without its best player.
"We'll obviously be very happy and excited to get Anthony back," Roberts said. "He is such a versatile scorer, and his ability to be our main scorer on any given night makes our team that much deeper."