Monday Morning Rumble, 4/29 - lower scoring hoops, Moe Harkless, and more

USA TODAY Sports

It's not fisticuffs, it's link-you-ups.

St. John's Lacrosse ends a successful regular season with a 15-10 win over Marquette; the Johnnies wait on their post season fate, needing a Rutgers win over Georgetown to make the four-team Big East championship. (Rutgers is at the bottom of the standings.) St. John's star Kieran McArdle is a nominee for the national Lacrosse award (the Lacrosse Heisman?) the Tewaarton Award.

Rumble_icon_x-small_copy_mediumD.J. Kennedy has some NBA D-League Championship hardware. More to come on his championship, but first, from Ridiculous Upside:

Though Kennedy had previously served as just another key cog in the Vipers' engine while Andrew Goudelock was in town, he's truly risen up as the NBADL star most know him to be with Goudelock now playing for the Lakers. Scoring 27 points to lead his team, Kennedy attacked the basket and got to the charity stripe effectively and often. A versatile performer at all times, the swingman also added 7 rebounds and 6 assists.

Rumble_icon_x-small_copy_medium The St. John's diaspora grows a little more, as former assistant Chris Casey reaches out to former graduate assistant and team manager Will Lanier for an assistant spot at Niagara. Lanier previously worked at Marist before former St. John's assistant Chuck Martin was fired a bit over a month ago. Other than Lanier, Casey has hired his team at Division II CW Post - going with men he trusts.

Speaking of said diaspora, Moe Harkless impressed our friends at Orlando Pinstriped Post, earning high marks for his play since his trade from Philadelphia.

...[Head Coach Jacque] Vaughn tasked the 6-foot-8 swingman with checking the opposition's best perimeter scorer on a nightly basis. Given how stacked the NBA's wings are, that's a chore for any player, particularly one as young and inexperienced as Harkless is. But his length and, more importantly, his eagerness to defend made him more than qualified for the challenge.

Harkless could simply maintain his post-All-Star averages--13.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.6 steals, and strong on-ball defense--and stay in the league for more than a decade. But he's not going to maintain those numbers: he's going to continue building on them, and he may emerge as one of the best players from the 2012 Draft class. Magic basketball may be hard to watch for the next few years, but Harkless will be a bright spot, if his growth throughout his rookie season is any indication.

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Creighton Bluejays star forward Doug McDermott is coming back for his senior year. ESPN's Eamonn Brennan puts it best about the 6'8", 225 pound skilled forward:

At this point, it seems, McDermott apparently isn't going to wow NBA scouts so much that he'll be a lottery pick. In any case if he is going to do so, he hasn't gotten there yet. At that point, aside from the ever-present injury risk all athletes face, the question changes from "why stay" to "well, why not?"

McDermott averaged 23 points and just under 8 rebounds in the Missouri Valley Conference, shooting 57% inside the arc and 49% outside of the arc.

The Bluejays are also looking at coveted University of Maine transfer guard Justin Edwards. He won't be eligible next season.

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Creighton isn't the only team that brings back a star. Know that Canadian point guard Semaj Christon comes to the Big East after a highly decorated freshman year:

• Semaj Christon. The freshman guard was given the George E. "Skip" Prosser Award, presented annually to the player who exemplified qualities Prosser admired: Great toughness, an untiring work ethic, a burning competitive spirit, and never backing down from a challenge.

Christon also earned a trophy for being named to the Kyle Macy Freshman All-America Team. He was recognized at the banquet for being Xavier’s first-ever A-10 Rookie of the Year as well as an A-10 Second Team and All-Rookie Team honoree.

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Sticking with Xavier, the Musketeers also have a new Athletic Director, Greg Christopher. He has served on the NCAA's Committee on Infractions, raised $28 million at his previous stop, Bowling Green State University, and tripled annual giving revenue, per release. Christopher also oversaw millions in new or renovated athletics-related capital projects.

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DePaul brings in a hefty 6'10" center, Thomas Hamilton, Jr., whose work ethic/ conditioning dropped him from a top-100 player to an afterthought who played at Florida's IMG Academy to get his training right. The Blue Demons bring in five signees - and three big men - while purging four little-used and/ or ineffective players from this year's 11-21 squad.

The Blue Demons lost three overtime games and had competitive moments, but for the third straight year were both the Big East's worst two-point defense and worst three-point defense.

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In college basketball as a whole, Physical play is blamed for the low scoring this year; teams scored an average of 67.5 points per game, the lowest since 1952. Three-point shooting was at a historic low - as were assists, and turnovers. Pace is a factor in the stats. Coaches want to bleed clock, call defensive plays and minimize mistakes as opposed to a sloppy, player-controlled track meet.

(If you're interested, I may be writing a piece on how this relates to St. John's and the Johnnies' style, so indicate interest in the comments.)

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The Atlantic Coast Conference may look into playing college basketball games in Europe.

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