St. John’s is no longer undefeated as the boys in red dropped their first game of the season to BYU 74-68 tonight. It was certainly a game of runs where both team exchanged momentum but a few key misses prevented St. John’s from pulling off the comeback. Another excellent Julian Champagnie performance was wasted as the team could not find a consistent second scoring option tonight.
- Player of the Game
- Julian Champagnie came back this season looking like he wants to play in the NBA. He continues to get better every single game as he grows more comfortable against high level talent. He was unreal tonight and Julian was the primary focus of our offense as well as solid defensively. He is beginning to remind me of peak LJ Traitor-oa except a more fundamental sound jump shot. I am loving everything Julian is doing and I am super excited to see him lead the way the rest of the year. This team will go as far as he takes us.
- Growth from Wusu
- Dylan Addae Wusu played really well tonight. He fouled out at the end of the game but he was exerting constant pressure on the press and locking up double teams. He put up a pretty efficient 8 points on 3-5 shooting. Wusu and Posh showed a really good connection on a few fast breaks and it is a sign of things to come later this season and next year as both players physically mature. It’s really cool to see growth from this young man.
- BYU is a good team
- People are saying the West Coast Conference is catching up to the Pac-12 for west coast superiority and BYU looked like a solid basketball team tonight. Sometimes you get beat by the older team and more experienced team, tonight was one of those nights.
- Not giving up / Defense
- The press is good especially from Greg, Wusu and Posh.You are going to win most games where you hold the other team to 68 points through 38 minutes of play and it was an encouraging performance from Andersons defense. In the second game where this team had to play from behind, the team came together well at the end to keep the game close. We just needed a second scorer tonight and it was nowhere to be found against a strong defensive opponent.
- Isaiah Moore: Dr. Jekyll
- I really like Isiah Moore as a basketball player. He was the second best offensive weapon for St. John’s tonight He is talented around the rim and I appreciate that he isn’t afraid to take the three. hasn’t looked lost during his first few games for the Red Storm. For most of the game, Moore was our second best player and he showed growth in his game.
- Isiah Moore. Mr. Hyde
- That being said: he made a few mistakes that might have cost St. John’s the game. The goaltending call with 5 minutes left was awful. The shot had clearly missed and was a foot above the backboard and Moore decided to slap it off the glass. There was no point to it and it was a big mistake. Moore also airballed a 3 down the stretch and missed the next 3 three’s he took after nailing the first one to open the game. They should find the bottom of the net eventually and it is good for Moore to be getting comfortable but a low leverage situation down 5 with three minutes left was not the best point of the game for experimenting. Moore is still developing and will play a key role down the stretch for this team but growing pains are setting in.
- Missing Rah and Roberts
- We needed a second scorer tonight as well as a spark plug off the bench. With Posh’s defensive work, we could see Rasheem Dunn come back to be that spark plug off the bench when he gets back until he is back to 100%. A consistent bench scorer and a leader for the second unit would be a great place for the Brooklyn guard. Hopefully he is healing from his concussion and he will be ready by the UConn game next week.
- Also, did Josh Roberts fuck one of the graduate assistant’s girlfriend? There is no reason for him not to be getting second center minutes at this point in the season especially after a strong end of the year last season.
- Cole greenlight turning yellow?
- Well that was frustrating. Vincent Cole is awesome and fits well into a starting role in Mike Anderson’s system. He is unpredictable in his offensive movements and it is hard for defenders to keep up with his match of speed and balance with the ball. He can create his own shot and he has played really well through the first few games of the season but tonight was rough. He was 0-2 from 3 and missed a big shot down the stretch. He’ll snap out of it but he may be less knockdown than we thought. Hope he proves me wrong.
- Reaching for steals, allowing easy conversions on 3’s
- I’m never going to fault defensive effort but three times tonight on ball pressure lead to a smart pass and a wide open three. This is frustrating but it is a flaw in CMA’s system. Off-ball defenders need more active feet and an eye for the play around them when a player is drawing a double team. I would like to see this improve over the rest of the season.
- Toro needs to be better
- We need more Toro to be a more consistent strong presence in the paint. Over the first four games, he hasn’t hauled in rebounds, which is reason we brought him in. This seems like a mental thing and hopefully he can turn it around with a big performance against Stony Brook. He is beginning to look like Sedee Keita which is becoming concerning.
Play of the game:
- Beating up Stony and Rider
- We are about to play two bad basketball teams before going into Big East play next week. We need two wins and to work out a few of the kinks that came up tonight, in the closing minutes of the Boston College game and against Saint Peter’s. We need two double digit wins in the next two games and I think we should see some of our best played basketball yet. Tonight can be a valuable teaching moment for Iron Mike and it can translate this team into a well oiled machine just in time for the start of Big East season.
- Farewell Mohegan Sun
- This is a cursed building for us. We never perform our best at Mohegan Sun and I can’t wait for us to get home every game we play here. St. John’s went 1-1 in bubbleville and most people expected this result but with Texas Tech instead of BYU. We aren’t going to win every game and hopefully the boys can get their swagger back against Stony Brook (Sunday) and Rider (Tuesday) so we can kick UConn’s ass next Friday. Until then, we’ll take our loss tonight but big things are coming from the Red Storm.