I went yesterday afternoon to meet with my accountant Sol to go over the final figures for the 2015 tax year and to sign the various forms and checks and the fucking I got from New York State and the Internal Revenue Service was less vigorous than the one Saint John’s got Wednesday night on their alleged home court Madison Square Garden in a 101-93 first round BE tournament loss. Let’s skip the jokes and trenchant commentary and go directly to the box score:
FG percentage was even, 54 vs 55.
3 point percentage was even, 50 vs 50.
Rebounds were even, 28 vs 27.
Turnovers were about even, 17 vs 14.
What wasn’t even? Free throws. Marquette took 43 and Saint John’s 23. And that was the difference in the game. Marquette scored 20 points in the last seven minutes, on two field goals. Things were so egregious that the usually go-along get-along Gus Johnson described the officiating as “terrible” and wondered how Saint John’s was going to be able to play defense if they could not use their hands. Official lickspittle of the Big East Bill Raftery thought the refs did a swell job, but he hasn’t disagreed with a call since Nero was given a flagrant one for kicking his pregnant sister in the stomach. As for me, I flashed back to the rigorous rogerings Lou used to get regularly in the post season, and seeing that floor slapping dope Wojowhatever on the side line didn’t help … Speaking of Wojo, he’s so pinguid that his upper lip was beaded with sweat during the pregame interview and by the first TV time out his shirt was festooned with half-moons of perspiration that would have made Al Bundy blush. Hey stupid, it’s called antiperspirant, try it … Oh well. It’s not like they were going to make a run and there is some solace in the fact that they played hard when they could have rolled over. Wait till next year bums
PLAYERS: I figured yesterday afternoon that SJ would get the snot kicked out them yesterday night and so after meeting with Sol wrote some end of season stuff that I figured to post instead of the normal PLAYERS section I usually include. That follows. I did though want to note that Chris Jones had a spectacular 29 points and 7 rebounds and to shout out a hearty fuck you to one particular poster who spent much of the early season maintaining that Jones did not have the makings of a BE player. Seems that dope was wrong, once again. A person has to work pretty hard to know so little about so much. That or maybe he’s just very very stupid.
Final season grades, on a curve. A is outstanding, C is average, F blows.
Yawke: B Somebody had to get a good grade. For most of the season he held his own against guys bigger stronger and older than him – once again, he should still be in high school. Needs to develop a midrange jump shot and do some curls. The sky – which incidentally he can touch from a standing leap – is the limit.
Jones: C + Almost a B minus, just because no one expected anything of him. One rebound shy of four double doubles. Has only two moves, a jab step step-back jumper and a spin thing in the lane but seemingly they’re hard to defend. Not a world beater but hopefully he comes back for his senior year. This is a program that needs some continuity.
Johnson C+. By far the best offensive player on an offensively challenged team. Got better as the year went on and the rust wore off. If he were white the Red and White Club would have been slobbering over his play instead of drooling on their sweaters. Not being white, he became their bete noire.
Sima C. He was probably a C + before his injury and a C minus afterwards, so I rounded. Not the defensive force or rebounder he seems he should be and his shot selection is atrocious and the shots themselves dangerous to anyone in the vicinity. Still, you can’t teach 6’11” and he’s only 19.
Ellison C. Was awful the first half of the season and merely atrocious the second half. Too confident for his own good. Hopefully over time his skills grow into his opinion of his skills. Has to learn to shoot, doesn’t defend anyone, and loafs back on defense after his frequent turnovers. OTOH nice size, good body, and a basketball pedigree. He is the advertisement for the old saw that the best thing about freshmen is that they become sophomores.
Mvouika C Was ill suited for the role he was thrust into, that of a Division One basketball player. Probably would have been a nice bench player on a good team – he shot nearly 40 percent from 3 and is a very good rebounder when he wants to be – although he wouldn’t have been on a good team. On the other hand he’s an awful defender and whines constantly. The faster he fades into the mists of my memory the better. Au revoir.
Alibegovic C-. Makes a great play one minute and an absurd one the next. Unfortunately there are more of the latter minutes than the former. If he’s going to be a stretch four he needs to learn to make threes and even if he’s not he needs to learn to rebound, there’s no point to being 6’10” otherwise. If the Freudenberg kid is any good I don’t see where his minutes come from next year as they seem to be the same player. His toadstool hairdo is one of the stupidest to ever adorn a SJU player, which is saying a lot. Still on schedule to graduate as the best white player at SJU since Bob Werdan.
Mussini C- The latest great white hope – one delusional racist called him the best shooter SJU had seen since Chris Mullin – went from a legend in November to an afterthought in February. He’s as tall as Frankie Alagia, as quick as Billy Singleton, jumps as high as Sean Muto and shoots threes as well as Avery Patterson. Doctor Frankenstein couldn’t work with those parts. He is though a freshman and he-a seems-a like-a he’s a nice-a boy. A good FT shooter, gets to the basket and has sneaky fast hands in the passing lane. Hopefully he works hard on his game in the off season and grows half a foot
Balamou C –. Tough call here as Felix got screwed out of a year by Lavin, who only recruited him because he was Obekpa’s buddy anyway. Unfortunately for Felix I am not much of a sentimentalist. Got to the basket really well and threw some nice passes inside. Unfortunately he did everything else poorly and had the ugliest jump shot in Division One. Like Mvouika he was an appalling defender and a whiny little bitch and like Lavin’s other leftovers it’s a shame he got no floor time over the past several years because he seems like he could have developed into a nice player if his opportunist of a coach had given the opportunity.
Mullin C. Some would argue that this year was an incomplete but he did in fact coach and this was nothing more than an average coaching debut. I do agree that you can’t judge anything by the results he achieved this year. You could have sewn Pete Carill’s head onto John Wooden’s body and attached Schrewshrinksy’s whiskers and tail and nothing would have changed. It seemed to me mostly like Chris Mullin spent much of the year waiting around for players to arrive who were good enough at basketball to learn basketball from Chris Mullin. If scouting reports are to be believed, they are on the way. As to the rest of it, where he sat, and whether he crossed his legs and how much he talked or didn’t talk in the huddle, most of that came from rubes still enamored with dopey Steve Lavin and I have no time for the idiotic opinions of imbeciles like that. Chris Mullin has never failed at basketball before and it seems to me that he did not return to Saint John’s to start now. In his short tenure he has assembled a killer staff and a couple of good recruiting classes. Next year the basketball begins. As jaded as I am – and I am at this point so cynical that I don’t even trust my own skepticism – I remain pretty not pessimistic about things moving forward.
NOTES: Since this is the last of these till next year and maybe forever I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to once again call Steve Lavin a repulsive unctuous fuckhead. Because that never gets old. Last night Lavin, who last year described himself as “a poor conference tournament coach” after going 1-5 at Saint John’s in five years, sat at half court explaining what the coaches who did not get fired for being miserable cretinous failures would have to do to succeed where he repeatedly had not. A more self-aware individual would have felt chagrin or shame, but walking bobble head that he is Lavin sat there with a stupid self-satisfied grin balanced above his multiple pasta chins. So for the final time this year, a hearty fuck you to Steve Lavin, one of the worst human beings who ever lived … So yeah, that’s that: another losing basketball season closer to death. This is now my third or fourth year of writing these dopey things and looking back no, I don’t think at all that I’ve been wasting my time. I mean sure, I could have been applying my genius to curing cancer or working to effect world peace but where’s the satisfaction in that. There is none, because no one deserves anything, much less everything. Quite the contrary: my sincerest hope is that you all win the Powerball, just seconds before a nuclear war eradicates every vestige of life on earth just ahead of its destruction by an asteroid. LOL, just kidding, not all life, I hope the bugs survive. Because let’s face it: we are you and I meaningless carbon based life forms on a small rock hurtling through an infinite and uncaring universe, whose petty hopes and desires are a cosmic joke created by a god who doesn’t exist. So I cannot help but think that my time was just as well spent as anything else chronicling the pathetic doings of a sad sack basketball program that has not won anything ever, for a small group of readers, most of whom either didn’t understand what I was saying, or didn’t care, and maybe a couple who got the joke, and not just because I managed to remain pretty much shit faced the whole time. That in fact seems to me to be a life pretty well and fully lived. So thanks for reading and see you next year. Unless one of us has the good fortune to die.