Gamethread: NJIT at St. John's

St. John's welcomes NJIT to Queens, hoping to extend their winning streak to four.

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Saturday, December 1st, 2012
When: 1:00 PM
St. John's vs NJIT
Carnesecca Arena (Capacity: 5,602)
Where: Queens, NY
TV: ESPN3
Radio: Bloomberg 1130
Line: no line;
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New Jersey Institute of Technology - a recent addition to the Division I ranks - comes to Carnesecca Arena with the knowledge that they took Big East member Providence down to the wire.

Yes, The Friars lost their most important player five minutes in to the contest, and lack roster depth. The fact that Great West preseason Player of the Year scoring guard Chris Flores (#1 on the roster, 18.7 points per game) and freshman rebounder Terrence Smith (#15 on the roster, 7.8 rebounds per game) came within one point and a halfcourt heave of beating Providence means they need to be taken seriously.

Things we know:

No news on Orlando Sanchez. But in the broadcast of the St. John's/ South Carolina game, ESPN's color commentator Kara Lawson mentioned that part of the issue with Sanchez isn't just his age, but that he spent time working to support his family before going back to school.

One wonders if the NCAA found something that would "compromise" his "amateur status", in the language of the NCAA. The length of time the eligibility decision is taking is more reminiscent of issues where the NCAA is determining whether a player played overseas or received extra benefits - or are still collecting more information.

In other countries, playing for youth teams comes with traveling money and some benefits; in the Enes Kanter case, the NCAA struggled to determine whether Kanter had received improper money until his former team told the NCAA he received money (possibly to make an example of him).

Deniz Kilicli of West Virginia was benched for 20 West Virginia games while the NCAA figured out his eligibility status.

NOT SAYING that is the case, but that there is obviously more to Sanchez' eligibility status than meets the eye. Perhaps it's a difficulty in locating birth records or school records; though he was eligible to play in junior college.

The rest of the team is humming without Sanchez. But at Monroe College on the junior college level, Sanchez was a very good rebounder - one of the deficiencies Steve Lavin's squad is working to address.

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