Tag:St. John's
Posted on: February 20, 2012 11:51 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 11:54 pm

Night Court: Napier saves UConn's season

By Jeff Borzello

Here’s everything you need to know about Monday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Shabazz Napier saved Connecticut’s season. After it looked like the sophomore guard wouldn’t play at all, Napier contributed key minutes and then hit a pull-up 30-footer with 0.8 seconds left in overtime to give the Huskies a 73-70 win at Villanova. Connecticut got behind by 18 points in the first half, but fought back to tie it at halftime. Jeremy Lamb went for 32 points, constantly bailing out the Huskies down the stretch. If Connecticut makes the NCAA tournament, it might look at Napier’s shot as the one that put them there.

Win to brag about: Mississippi Valley State clinched the SWAC regular-season championship in the best way possible – on a 3-pointer with under a second left by 6-foot-8 big Paul Crosby. The shot gave the Delta Devils a 56-53 win over Texas Southern, and also improved them to 15-0 in conference play. Remember, this is a team that was 1-11 in the non-league. Quite the turnaround for Sean Woods’ club.

Loss to hide from: Texas needed this one. The Longhorns, coming off a loss to Oklahoma State over the weekend, had a chance to solidify their resume with a home win over a reeling Baylor club. After getting off to a double-digit lead, they let the Bears come back on the glass – and on the scoreboard. Baylor pulled it out late, 77-72, after J’Covan Brown turned it over in the final minute. Texas’ NCAA hopes are now in trouble, while Baylor is back on the right track. Quincy Acy had 22 points and 16 rebounds for the Bears.

Player who deserves improper benefits: North Florida’s Parker Smith is gunning lately. He’s knocked down at least five 3-pointers in four of his last six games – but nothing topped his performance on Monday. The Ospreys’ guard went 11-for-17 from behind the arc – and also knocked down 9-for-9 from the free-throw line – en route to 46 points in a 75-66 win over Mercer. The loss for the Bears is their second in a row, dropping them two games behind first-place Belmont.

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: There weren't too many disappointing performances tonight, although a couple caught my eye. DePaul's Jamee Crocket had taken 82 3-pointers the entire season heading into Monday night; that's slightly over three attempts per game. For some reason, he took 11 shots from behind the arc against St. John's, only making one in the loss. Meanwhile, even though Baylor won, Perry Jones struggled once again. He shot 3-for-11 from the field -- he still needs to step up in big games.

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 0: The number of Atlantic Sun wins Kennesaw State has this season, after falling just short, 73-71.
  • 0: The number of MEAC wins South Carolina State has this season, after the Bulldogs lost by one to Florida A&M.
  • 5: Delaware State has now had five games in a row decided by either one possession or in overtime. The Hornets won Monday in double overtime over Hampton.

Three other notable results:

  1. St. John’s is now in 11th place in the Big East after beating DePaul by seven. Given what the Red Storm have been through, that’s an accomplishment.
  2. It looks like Belmont will win the Atlantic Sun, after defeating USC Upstate, 88-79. The Bruins are now up by two games on Mercer with just two games left.
  3. Savannah State took a full game lead in the MEAC standings by demolishing Bethune-Cookman, who entered Monday only one game back of first.


  • Look out for Fairfield in the MAAC tournament. The Stags won their seventh straight league game by beating Marist on the road.
  • Kyle O’Quinn struggled offensively, but still grabbed 16 rebounds as Norfolk State picked up an easy win over Longwood.
  • Southern looks likely to finish second in the SWAC after improving to 11-4 on Monday, but the Jaguars are ineligible for the conference tournament and won’t thus be able to take down MVSU.
  • There was a false report claiming that Connecticut head coach Jim Calhoun would return for Saturday’s game against Syracuse. It was denied by school officials. 
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Posted on: February 12, 2012 8:40 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2012 8:47 pm

Night Court: Seton Hall, Purdue get bubble wins

Meyers Leonard struggled mightily on the offensive end against Michigan, as Illinois lost by nine. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

Here’s everything you need to know about Sunday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: In a game with major implications for the bubble, Seton Hall went on an 18-5 run to finish the game en route to a 73-66 win over Pittsburgh. Even more impressively, the Pirates played the final six minutes without Fuquan Edwin, who fouled out after making a jumper to cut the lead to four. Brandon Mobley came up with an important steal, while Herb Pope made four free throws in the final 11 seconds, to clinch the victory for Seton Hall. Pitt probably needs to win the Big East tournament to get to the Big Dance now.

Win to brag about: Stony Brook came into Sunday at 12-1 in the America East and on top of the standings. Second-place Vermont simply went out and hammered the Seawolves by 19, holding them without a 3-pointer despite 15 attempts from behind the arc. Four McGlynn had 24 points off the bench for the Catamounts, who can now win a share of the regular-season title – and potential homecourt advantage in the conference tournament.

Loss to hide from: Only two days after beating Iona to take sole possession of first place in the MAAC, Loyola (Md.) was throttled at home by Fairfield, 68-51. The loss ended the Greyhounds’ seven-game winning streak, as they shot just 17.4 percent from the field in the second half. A 12-0 run midway through the second stanza broke things open for the Stags.

Player who deserves improper benefits: In the “Battle for Brooklyn,” LIU-Brooklyn senior Jamal Olasewere shot 11-for-11 from the field, finishing with 32 points and seven rebounds in an 81-78 win over St. Francis (N.Y.). The win keeps the Blackbirds atop the Northeast, and completes a two-game sweep of the city rival Terriers.

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: Michigan is most vulnerable on the inside, so most expected Illinois sophomore Meyers Leonard to have a monster game on the interior. However, he struggled with foul trouble and only finished with five points on five shots as Michigan came out with a 70-61 win. Leonard did grab 12 rebounds, but Bruce Weber needed more offensive production from his big man. 

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 0: Binghamton is still winless after losing a 62-60 game to Hartford. The Bearcats have five regular-season games left to get a victory.
  • 6: The Northeast has a “Rivalry Week” where each team plays their rival twice in a matter of days. All six matchups featured 2-0 sweeps.
  • 26: Kyle Weems became the 26th played in Missouri Valley history to reach 1800 points, as Missouri State beat Bradley by 11.
  • 10: St. John’s became the first team in the country to lost 10 games to top 25 teams this season.

Three other notable results:

  1. Georgetown hit three 3-pointers during a key three-minute stretch late in the second half to hold off St. John’s, 71-61.
  2. The Big Ten featured a monster bubble battle on Sunday, with Purdue getting the big victory over Northwestern, 87-77. John Shurna had 30 points in the loss.
  3. Washington’s Terrence Ross had 21 points and 13 rebounds to lead Washington to a 75-72 victory at Oregon State. The game was a must-win for the Huskies, in order to keep pace with California at the top of the Pac-12.


  • Connecticut announced that Warde Manuel will be the new director of athletics for the university. Manuel has been the AD at Buffalo for the past six years.
  • Dorian Finney-Smith tipped in a missed 3 with 1.8 seconds left to give Virginia Tech a 66-65 win over Boston College.
  • Scott Machado racked up a triple-double in Iona's tougher-than-expected win over Marist. He had 10 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
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Posted on: February 10, 2012 11:30 am

Podcast: Rivers, 'Bazz and the weekend ahead

San Diego State could realistically cement itself into a four or five seed if it beats UNLV this weekend. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Matt Norlander

Murray State. Duke. Rivers. The big games this weekend. Substitute teachers. Pickup basketball. The best recruits waiting the longest to commit to schools. It's all on today's podcast.

Oh, and Borzello's my guest. Sorry about that. Had to inject some "flo" back into the proceedings. 
On the docket:
  • From the beginning: Some jibbing and jabbing before the hoops.
  • 2:50: We get right to the Murray State talk. What seed are they now? How many games can this team afford to lose?
  • 9:35: Duke and Carolina and Austin Rivers. Why that amazing ending doesn't change things for Duke and why UNC is now questionable as a one seed.
  • 15:50: Top 10 freshmen are who? At this point in the year it's fair to say who's the biggest surprise and the biggest disappointment.
  • 19:48: The games this weekend. Let's chat about the ones that stick out to us. A good dozen games are touched upon. Lots and lots of good hoop Saturday and Sunday. Can't wait to be ensconced in it.
  • 31:52: Shabazz Muhammad, the No. 1 2012 recruit, recently said he'll wait until at least April to announce where he's going. UCLA and Kentucky are in the lead. I don't think he's good enough to make coaches wait into May, but Borzello brings up a good point why he's bound to.

Again, I thank you for taking the time to listen to the podcast--whenever you can. I ask that you, if you like what we're doing here, encourage like-minded hoopheads to subscribe in Tunes as well. Guests like Jay Bilas, Seth Davis, they're the guys who make me sound better and make the podcast worthwhile. The other guys? Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman, they really make it entertaining, and of course you can count on our trio show each Wednesday. The RSS feed is another way to keep the podcasts coming to you ASAP. We've got a Zune download link as well.

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Posted on: January 13, 2012 2:02 pm

St. John's transfer Lindsey headed to Arkansas

By Jeff Goodman

Nurideen Lindsey wanted to remain close to his mother, but it didn't work out -- and now he's headed to Arkansas.

The St. John's transfer should be an ideal fit with the breakneck style that Mike Anderson employs down in Fayetteville. The 6-foot-3 guard, who averaged 11.9 points before opting to leave the Red Storm, is quick and athletic. 

"The whole idea of staying close to home was definitely more ideal," Lindsey told CBSSports.com shortly after announcing his decision via twitter. "But unfortunately, the schools close to home weren't a fit and most didn't have scholarships." 

Lindsey said Temple and Saint Joseph's were among them. 

"Arkansas seems like a great fit with the way I play," Lindsey said. "They showed a lot of interest and made me feel excited about wanting to be a Razorback." 

Lindsey said he will leave for Arkansas in the next few days, sit out this semester and the start of next season before becoming eligible at the break -- and having 1 1/2 year left of eligibility. 

He'll give the Razorbacks more quality depth. Anderson has freshmen B.J. Young, Rashad Madden and Hunter Mickelson, leading scorer Marshawn Powell should be healthy next season and guards Mardacus Wade and Rickey Scott have played well this season. 

Posted on: January 9, 2012 8:36 pm

Former A&M guard Jamal Branch picks St. John's

By Jeff Borzello

His transfer situation didn’t get the attention of Khem Birch, but former Texas A&M guard Jamal Branch also made his decision on Monday night.

The freshman is moving on to St. John’s, his father Jerome confirmed to Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com.

Branch took a visit to the Red Storm’s campus over the weekend, and didn’t take much longer to make his decision. Originally, it seemed like he might wait a week and take another visit but he wanted to make his decision.

Branch left Texas A&M on December 29 after having an up-and-down 11 games for the Aggies. He was a highly-touted prospect coming out of high school, and should be a huge addition for St. John’s when he is able to play.

Branch averaged 4.2 points and 2.5 assists at A&M.

Posted on: January 6, 2012 10:17 am
Edited on: January 6, 2012 10:58 am

St. John's has a secure future with Lavin

Jeff Borzello

From the outside, it might look like St. John’s is falling apart.

The Red Storm had a great year last season, going 21-12 and getting a No. 6 seed in the NCAA tournament. Since then, they have lost two members of their vaunted class of 2011; had both commits from the class of 2012 rescind their pledges; and also had two players transfer. Moreover, head coach Steve Lavin has barely been able to coach as he recovers from prostate cancer surgery.

As a result, St. John’s has struggled so far this season. The Red Storm are 7-7, including losses to Northeastern and Detroit.

With all this said, the basketball program is not the house of cards that it looks like from the outside.

After talking with people inside and outside the basketball program on Thursday, there’s still excitement about St. John’s basketball. There’s optimism, there’s enthusiasm. While the Red Storm will certainly have a terrible record this year, it will be chalked up to a lack of experience and a lack of bodies. Most people think Lavin will turn it around next season.

Sources say the coaching staff is optimistic they will still get 2012 decommit Ricardo Gathers and 2011 decommit JaKarr Sampson. Both reopened their recruitments, but are still considering the Red Storm. They’re very strong with Our Savior New American (N.Y.) guard Felix Balamou and junior college forward Orlando Sanchez. St. John’s is also in the mix for top-100 big man Chris Obekpa.

2012 prospect Darrick Wood decommitted on Thursday, but sources say he might have had NCAA Clearinghouse problems down the road. Nuri Lindsey transferred last month, but sources say he too was having academic difficulties at St. John’s.

Former Texas A&M transfer Jamal Branch, who left the Aggies last week, will take a visit to St. John’s this weekend. He’s a former four-star recruit who would be a major pick up at the point guard position for the Red Storm.

The biggest factor in all of this is Lavin. While people have been saying for weeks he might not return to coach this season, he is still on the recruiting trail and even attended the Red Storm’s game against Louisville earlier this week. St. John’s has maintained from the outset that he will wait until he’s healthy to return to coaching full-time; they still believe that. There have been rumors tying him to other head coaching jobs or going back to television, but St. John’s is not concerned about him leaving the program.

As long as Lavin is the head coach, there is excitement for St. John’s basketball. The fan support is still better than it was in the days of Norm Roberts, and the Red Storm are getting far more national coverage than they were a few years ago. If he leaves, of course, then the program will be set back several years.

Lavin is the key card. As long as he’s around, St. John’s will not fall apart.

Photo: US Presswire

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Category: NCAAB
Posted on: December 20, 2011 8:56 pm
Edited on: December 20, 2011 10:57 pm

St. John's freshman Amir Garrett eligible

By Jeff Goodman

St. John's finally received some good news when Amir Garrett was cleared to play for the Red Storm. 

Garrett's father, Darrow Garrett, confirmed the news to CBSSports.com on Tuesday night. 

The program has been without its head coach, Steve Lavin, for much of the season while he recovers from prostate surgery, its talented guard Nuri Lindsey decided to transfer and three recruits were deemed ineligible to play this season. 

Jakaar Sampson returned to prep school and Norvel Pelle favors UNLV - but Garrett, a two-sport star, has stuck with his pledge and his father said he could play as early as Wednesday night. 

"I'm happy he's now at St. John's and can play basketball," Garrett's father said. 

Garrett's father also said that the plan remains to play baseball in the Cincinnati Reds minor league system this summer. Garrett was selected in the 22nd round of the draft and received a bonus in excess of $1 million spread over five years. 

Posted on: December 8, 2011 3:45 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 6:14 pm

St. John's to lose another newcomer

By Jeff GoodmanMatt Norlander and Jeff Borzello

A head coach recovering from surgery, three freshmen ruled ineligible and now, a transfer: sophomore guard Nuri Lindsey is leaving St. John's.

"I came to St. John's for a couple of reasons," Lindsey said in a prepared statement. "One was to be close to my mom, whose health has been up and down due to some past experiences. The second was to play for Coach Lav. In both instances it has not worked out how I envisioned."

He also reaffirmed to CBSSports.com that he is not looking to go to the NBA immediately.

"My intentions are to transfer to a Division-I school," Lindsey said. "I want to be a college basketball player."

It's a move the Red Storm can't really afford. The team's a shell of what it was last year, when it had nine seniors and went to the NCAA tournament. Steve Lavin's team this year is 4-5 and chock full of young players -- or at least was. The original crop that had come in is now about halfway. Jakarr Sampson, Amir Garrett and Norvel Pelle were ruled ineligible in mid-September. Garrett still plans to join the team at the semester break.

Lindsey was third on the team in scoring, averaging 11.8 points. He's also averaging 4.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists so far this season. Lindsey has been a very valuable piece to the Red Storm's operation, one that could really see its Big East chances to be competitive evaporate with him no longer in the mix.

He told CBSSports.com that his mother lives two and a half hours away from New York, and he would like to transfer to a school closer to her.

"We've talked and we already have a school in mind," Lindsey said. He would not reveal which school.

What's more, CBSSports.com has learned one of the reasons Lindsey has opted out was due to poor grades.

"It would've been a stretch to get him through," one source said, referring to his second semester on campus.

The news of Lindsey's transfer was first reported by Roger Rubin of the New York Daily News

Lindsey confirmed the news via Twitter, giving a long explanation of the reasons behind his decision, as well as what his next move will be. "Ultimately I felt as though this decision was best for me and my family," Lindsey tweeted. "I am looking forward to moving to another school. Will not be taking any steps toward any professional move. I like school, and feel as though I still have so much more to learn and much more room for improvement. So once again, sincerely apologize. I'll be moving on to another program."

The original version of this inaccurately listed Lindsey as a freshman.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com