"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Additional Preview: Perspectives from a St. John's Fan

With a tip of the cap to the guys over at the St. John's Insider on Scout.com, here's some additional detail on the Golden Eagles' opponent this evening. Thanks to Redman07, who took the time to write this up for us. Enjoy.

1) Before losing their last two, the Johnnies had previously won three in a row, including an upset of then-undefeated Pittsburgh. A few days ago, your guys gave WVU all they could handle. What are the biggest reasons for the Red Storm's turnaround this month?
Well I guess you could figure some of the blame to early season nerves. Now we have a more definitive lineup of who will start and come off the bench, while the mixing in of many different players has died down. However the main reason is the return of our injured PG Daryll Hill, who was coming into the season as the leading returning scorer in the Big East. The injuries have taken their toll and he has not been the same player, but simply having his presence on the court provides confidence and draws the opposition's best defender.

2) What sort of team gives St. Johns the most trouble, offensively and defensively?
A team that shoots very well from the outside and also playing a slow settled down typed offense.

3) Coach Norm Roberts inherited a program in disarray, but the last few weeks have given the league a glimpse of where he's leading the program. What have been Coach Roberts' most significant accomplishments to date?
I would have to say that the biggest accomplishments have been made off the court in NYC, he has brought some class back to the program, and now recruits are starting to notice. After the horror show Mike Jarvis left behind.

4) What was the reaction within the SJU community to a) the defections of the VaTech, BC, and Miami, and b) the addition of the four CUSA institutions?
The reaction to the schools was definitely on the bitter side, while I think people greater understood VaTech, and Miami leaving, because both are state institutions and located in the south. BC however I feel was sort of a smack in the face to the Big East, because of their location and being a catholic school. They received the worst of the blow schools did what they could to make sure they felt the hard feelings (ex. Here at St. John's we scheduled our home game against them at our small on campus arena instead of our usual home to face Big East opponents Madison square garden). In the addition of the other CUSA schools in general was viewed as a positive move for basketball. These schools will increase the overall quality and depth in the Big East.

5) Which player have we not heard of that fans should pay attention to heading into the game?
Eugene Lawrence a tough NYC guard, who has an excellent ball control. He played basketball at Lincoln H.S. in Brooklyn, where he started in the same backcourt with NBA player Sebastian Telfair. Also this is the same HS that produced Stephon Marbury.

Thanks for your help, Redman07.

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