Wednesday night's St. John's exhibition win against Molloy was a great moment for Red Storm fans.
then again, it was an exhibition... against a Division II team... that isn't very good.
The game was a chance to see the 7 freshmen (freshman number 8, Rob Thomas, the self-proclaimed "next great basketball star" redshirted last year) in game action. No more speculating over high school stats, grainy promo videos, 3 word phrases on recruiting websites, or firsthand practice accounts on message boards.
It's not quite ON yet. But the Red Storm season is close. Box score and observations below.
Observations from grainy online video:
- Boothe was nice. Quick, solid passer, good sense. Even nailed a couple of open outside shots, which is the most exciting part - this team is going to need all the offense it can get.
- DJ Kennedy is a pretty skilled player, even as a freshman. Good ball movement, good drives to the basket. Better defensively than I thought he would be.
- Larry Wright looks more aggressive. It might be because he's actually on the court. I'll wait to say more, but it looks like he's trying to expand his game.
- Geno Lawrence looked under control, but the defensive competition was not high caliber. Still, his shot looked good, and he will be counted on to hit open outside shots.
- Paris Horne was aggressive - maybe too aggressive. His outside shot clanged the front of the rim like a bell in the second half, but it seems like he has more sense to constantly shoot that shot. His quickness was impressive, but again - against weak competition. But it looks like he'll be able to hang with D-I competition, and play some good defense, too.
- I didn't see much of Jasiulionis.
- Justin Burrell looked decent, got his shot off. But if he's going to enjoy a diet of turn around jumpers, I'll comment after he does it against defenders who are his height. But he is quick and agile.
- Mike Cavataio aka Mikey Cavs moved well, but like shooters sometimes do, even when given screens, he looked like he was pressing to make his shot.
- Dele Coker and Sean Evans are not ready for prime time. Maybe Coker was feeling shy; but those long jump shots are not why the team brought in the 6'10", 270 pound center. I hope he rebounds and, well, rebounds. Evans blocked a couple of shots, even hit a three (which would be great for spacing with this team; 3-point shooting is NOT going to be a strength), but looked like he was in the wrong place every time. Along with his turnovers... the guy needs a year to study basketball.
Here is a favorite quote from the Sports NY recap:
Boothe and Horne were diving on the floor with their team up by 30 and less than two minutes left in the game.
"It's something that you must do in basketball if you want to win," Burrell said.
Is that something Roberts stressed before the exhibition?
"Coach didn't have to say it," Boothe said. "We already knew that."