The Downside - St. John's | Syracusefan.com

The Downside - St. John's

SWC75

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- Joe Girard played like the one-armed man tonight. He was 1 for 10 from the field. 2 for 10 and we win the game. He also missed the front end of a key 1 and 1. St. John’s rebounded and their big center, who is not a good foul shooter made two. That’s a 4 point swing. It was Joe’s worst game ever and it came in a big game. He went from scoring 21 in the first half vs. Richmond to 10 in the second half to 0 in the first half vs. St. Johns and only 4 for the game. He came into the game averaging 21.5. It may have been the pace of the game, St. John’s physical defense or fatigue from playing consecutive OT games in two nights. Whatever it was, it wasn’t good enough.

- In the first half we won the boards 23-22 and committed 3 turnovers. In the second half we lost the boards 15-25 and committed 11 turnovers to 7 for St. John’s. That’s not a recipe for victory.

- After combining for 4 rebounds in 73 minutes of play benny Williams had 7 boards in the first half but just 3 in the second while Chris Bell had no rebounds at all, although he did other things aggressively, such as blocking a shot that should not have been called a goaltend. So this time it was 10 rebounds in 80 minutes. That’s still not good enough for our two starting forwards.

- This isn’t the shooting team last year’s was but 3 for 16 from the arc isn’t going to cut it. Joe was 0 for 4 but Chris was 2 for 7.

- Judah Mintz was great in the first half against a man-for-man, (16 points on 6 for 13 shooting), but mediocre against a zone in the second half, (1 for 4 and 4 points). Joe and Chris couldn’t make them pay for it. Actually, I think we have to credit St. John’s for playing excellent defense to take away our major threats, one by one. Mintz had 2 assists in 41 minutes and 6 turnovers.

- Our offense down the stretch was terrible. Against Richmond, we wound up with Benny Williams having to act like a point guard. In this game, Sy Torrance wound up taking our last shot in regulation. Both would have been the 5th option on the floor in those possessions.

- Our defense also broke down late in the game, although, here again, I’ve got to give some credit to St. John’s for breaking it down. It was very different from the Richmond game where our defense saved us. The Johnnies got the ball into the top of the key where Curbelo operated for 23 points and 6 assists, many to Soriano, who worked the baseline for 19 points and 14 rebounds. They had an answer for Girard, Mintz and Bell. But we had no answer for Curbelo and Soriano.

- Jesse Edwards has got to find ways to avoid foul trouble without limiting his game. He sat for 23 minutes in the two games due to fouls, (it seemed like more). One advantage of that may have been to keep him fresh for the end of the game and overtime, but we might not have need him to be fresh at that time if he could have played earlier. When he first made his presence felt in the NCAAs two years ago he seemed to understand that, being 7 feet tall, all he had to do was hold his ground and reach upward to create an effective wall between the guy with the ball and the basket. But now he often steps forward to make defensive plays and he gets called for any contact.

- We are now 6-11 against former Big East rivals who didn’t join us in the ACC. They really get up for these games.
 

SWC75

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Correction:

Since 2013-14 we are 1-4 vs. St. John's, 1-2 vs. Villanova, 3-4 vs. Georgetown and 2-1 vs. Connecticut for a total of 7-11. We also beat West Virginia in the NCAAs, if that counts.
 

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