Without Phil Greene IV's recent performance, would St. John's be sitting with three wins?
Greene was acknowledged by the Big East Conference on Monday afternoon as a member of its weekly honor roll. The junior guard averaged 19 points in the Red Storm's two wins last week.
Arguably, Greene looked as good as he's ever been in a St. John's uniform during the two-game stretch. In the Johnnies' close 67-63 victory over Bucknell on Tuesday, Greene scored 12 of his 16 points during the team's second half push. On Friday, his 22 points and uncharacteristic eight rebounds helped the Storm catapult to a 64-54 win over Monmouth, thus avoiding an embarrassing loss.
"Phil's last two games have been pretty impressive," Steve Lavin said. "What I've noticed is that he's maneuvering at a speed where he's making excellent decisions."
Not only is Greene producing for St. John's, but he's doing it efficiently. During those two games, Greene converted 16 of his 24 shot attempts (67%), including hitting 50% of his three-point attempts.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Greene's play during St. John's 3-1 start to the season has been his ability to control the basketball. In fact, he has not yet turned the ball over in 108 total minutes played.
As Lavin welcomed freshman Rysheed Jordan into the program this fall, many questioned what Greene's role would become. Greene has played major minutes ever since his freshman season at St. John's, yet he may still be overlooked by critics and fans.
"I feel [that I'm overlooked] every time I look at the TV and at the papers. But I just keep to myself, and I know it will show eventually," Greene said. "It motivates me."
Creighton's Doug McDermott was named the Big East's Player of the Week for the second consecutive time. Jaren Sina of Seton Hall was named Rookie of the Week.
Greene was accompanied on the league's honor roll by Khyle Marshall (Butler), D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Georgetown), Tyler Harris (Providence) and JayVaughn Pinkston (Villanova).
Phil Greene and the Johnnies will be back in action on Tuesday night (7pm) against the Longwood Lancers at Carnesecca Arena.
More from Rumble In The Garden:
- St. John's selected for 2015 Maui Invitational, along with college basketball elites Kansas, Indiana, UCLA and more
- Episode 9: a trip to the therapist's couch
- Stat recap: St. John's overcame Monmouth's hectic first-half pace
- St. John's vs Monmouth: photos and key quotes from the 64-54 victory
- St. John's vs. Monmouth final: Johnnies survive another close call, defeat Hawks 64-54