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TOPIC: JPM114 Game Piece

JPM114 Game Piece 3 months 2 weeks ago #362173

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Thursday, November 7, 2019
Anderson's Debut Brings Impressive Win for St. John's

Leave it to a veteran coach, Mike Anderson and a veteran player, Mustapha Heron, to lend some perspective to a 30-point season opening win.

“It took a lot of preparation and hard work for us to get here”, Anderson said following his team’s 109-79 trouncing of Mercer at Carnesecca Arena last night, but he added quickly that “….there’s still lots of work to do”.

Moments earlier senior leader Heron expressed similar thoughts noting that Anderson’s quickly paced style was both “hard to play” and “a lot of fun”. As opening nights go this was indeed lots of fun.

The guys who figure to lead the way for the Johnnies this season, Heron and junior forward L.J. Figueroa did just that, scoring 25 and 18 points respectively. They combined with Graduate transfer Nick Rutherford put an early stamp on the game and, with the help of a couple of surprises, maintain and extend the 21-point half time margin they built.

A pair of sophomores who barely played last season, center Josh Roberts and forward Marcellus Earlington, were able to build on strong pre-seasons. Roberts finished with 9 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks while he played his role as a rim running, screening and rolling, and in his words, “dump off catching” center to perfection.

Earlington provided the biggest surprise of the game after appearing in just 15 games last season, averaging a shade less than 4 minutes per contest and making his high school reputation playing football not basketball for perennial New Jersey power Don Bosco Prep. Statistics tell this part of the game story to be sure, 17 points on 7-13 shooting and 5 rebounds, but the eye test matters here also. Not only did he bring the energy and hustle a fan might expect from an athlete who was a high end football recruit, but, for lack of a better phrase, he looked like a basketball player; moving without the ball, catching the ball in shooting position on both his 3-point tries, and scoring an early field goal with a strong right handed drive followed by a lefthanded finish.
As both Anderson and Heron noted the play of Earlington and Roberts along with fellow sophomore Greg Williams is important to watch as the team tries to build depth for the basketball gauntlet that is the Big East Conference.
The tests that the rest of the schedule brings will be difficult, and are the reason why coach Anderson sprinkled praise for his team’s effort and execution with caution. It was certainly a good beginning; one fans hope they can build on.
Notes And Observations: Former St. Francis College and Jefferson High guard Rasheem Dunn remained out while the NCAA continues to determine his eligibility status, which for now is on appeal following a ruling that would force him to lose a year of playing eligibility and leave him with only one year remaining. If I may do a bit of editorializing here the NCAA is essentially holding a kid who’s done everything right out of games because an athletic director who fired the coach who recruited him refuses to support his transfer. Instead of penalizing the young man, let’s hope the NCAA holds the adults responsible and gets this right. N.C. State transfer Ian Steere continued to sit out following last year’s mid-season transfer to St. John’s. He reportedly will sit out 11 games.
A word of thanks to the sports information department at St. John’s for offering an N.B.A. style box score, complete with plus minus stats, hustle stats that note blocks and steals and statistics for “fouls drawn” and “blocks against”. Thank you and well done.

newyorkbasketball.blogspot.com/2019/11/a...-impressive-win.html
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JPM114 Game Piece 3 months 2 weeks ago #362174

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In games like these, typically we'd rely on our best 2-3 players to put the game away (late) and then we'd give our 7th/8th/9th players garbage time during the final few minutes. Nobody played over 30 minutes last night, and I felt confident no matter who was in the lineup. In the past I would start worrying once Ponds went to the bench, but last night I didn't feel that way when LJ/Heron did.

Obviously it's easy to say that when the game is a blowout early and we're playing mediocre competition, but it's awesome to get the end of our bench into games when they're still in doubt. That gives them confidence that garbage time could not.

Best play of the game last night was the TO by CMA with about 17 minutes to go. I started thinking "here we go again" once Mercer went on a run, but 2 minutes later the game was all but over.
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JPM114 Game Piece 3 months 1 week ago #362269

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Adam - I think you hit on what was most impressive to me. For know better words "we hit him in the face" from the tipoff and looked to put the game away as early as possible so when Mercer made their run we still had a 16 point lead.

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JPM114 Game Piece 3 months 1 week ago #362297

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Thanks for sharing this. The NBA Style Stat Sheet as JPM114 mentions is also used by Coach Anderson at practice. Stats are kept on each player for blocks, steals, turnovers, fouls drawn, deflections and other things.
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JPM114 Game Piece 3 months 1 week ago #362905

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newyorkbasketball.blogspot.com/2019/11/st.html

Excited to hook up with John Saturday at Vermont game.
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JPM114 Game Piece 3 months 12 hours ago #364120

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SJU Surges Past Columbia


Whether coach Mike Anderson and his St. John’s team found themselves trying to gain traction after a tough loss to Vermont last Saturday, or gain some momentum as they get ready for a road test against the Arizona State team that knocked them out of last year’s N.C.A.A. Tournament, it’s likely they got exactly what they needed last night.

“Our guys came out with a sense of urgency and we kept that sense of urgency throughout the game”, Anderson said of his team’s 82-63 win over Columbia at Carnesecca Arena last night. “Guys came off the bench to give us some quality minutes. It was a good team win we did a much better job taking care of the basketball.”

Two first half runs, one of 11-0 and the other of 8-0 proved to be decisive for St. John’s. They took a 25-7 lead at the end of the second run and were able to push the margin to 49-27 at the intermission. Rasheem Dunn scored all of his 14 points in the first half after coming off the bench.

“To me he’s a starter”, Anderson said of Dunn. “It’s not about starting it’s about getting quality minutes and what you do with those minutes. And you can see how Rasheem impacts our team. He’s a threat on offense and he’s tenacious on defense. And he’s a team player”
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Dunn’s impact on the game did not stop when his scoring ended. He added 3 rebounds, a team high 3 assists and 3 steals. One of the assists came during a stretch early in the second half when freshman and fellow Brooklynite Julian Champagnie helped St. John’s regain their footing after Columbia went on 11-4 run as the second half began. With St. John’s lead trimmed to 15 points Champagnie scored 9 straight points to push the lead up to 24. The run included his only 3 pointer of the game and a nice transition basket set up by an over-the-shoulder flip from Dunn.

St. John’s would finish the game with its most balanced stat sheet of the young season. Mustapha Heron would lead the way with 15 points with Dunn and Champagnie each adding 14. LJ Figueroa and David Caraher added 9 each. And as they have all season long, sophomores Josh Roberts and Marcellus Earlington provided needed energy and physicality off the bench. Roberts finished with 11 rebounds and 3 blocks while Earlington had 8 points and 8 boards.”

“This team is growing right before our eyes”, Anderson said as he assessed the team’s progress, “Guys are starting to figure out what it takes to compete at this level and they’re starting to figure out they’re not just a two man team.”

According to Heron, the new coach told the team that while some of them lost to Arizona State to end last season, this was “a new year and a new mindset”. Clearly Anderson and his staff have set a tone that the team has embraced. A win on Saturday would be a terrific step forward for the Johnnies and perhaps start them towards a return visit to the Big Dance.

Notes And Observations: Tonight, there’s just one and it’s a nod of appreciation for the great effort given by Columbia’s senior guard Mike Smith. The Illinois native finished with a game high 20 points as well as 9 rebounds and 6 assists combined with just 1 turnover in 37 minutes. On enemy territory playing against relentless pressure he played with poise and confidence. Even though he played fast he never got sped up. Here’s wishing him good luck for the rest of the season.

newyorkbasketball.blogspot.com/2019/11/s...s-past-columbia.html
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JPM114 Game Piece 3 months 1 hour ago #364202

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Just finished watching the game now and have to totally agree with the JPM blurb on Smith; played a terrific game. Totally unselfish, great court vision and command of the ball, and gave it up completely in the rhythm and context of the game, all in addition to his scoring. A real joy to watch.
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JPM114 Game Piece 2 months 4 weeks ago #364216

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Logen wrote: Just finished watching the game now and have to totally agree with the JPM blurb on Smith; played a terrific game. Totally unselfish, great court vision and command of the ball, and gave it up completely in the rhythm and context of the game, all in addition to his scoring. A real joy to watch.


Smith is a total warrior. Think he played 37 minutes or close to it. Never gave up, and despite bearing so much of the offensive burden, never looked tired. He is much better than I expected.

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JPM114 Game Piece 2 months 2 weeks ago #365443

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JPM114 Game Piece 2 months 2 weeks ago #365448

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Paultzman wrote: Great piece with a few nuggets;
newyorkbasketball.blogspot.com/2019/11/s...s-st-johns-roll.html


Would love for Cuffe Jr. to be our next young Pg to trail Posh when he’s an upperclassman.

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