Saint John’s defeated Chaminade University 100-93 in the battle for 7th place in the Maui Classic Wednesday afternoon in Hawaii. That they won the game is not surprising: they’ve already proven this preseason that they’re as good as any Division 2 team in the country. How they won was a bit of a shocker. This is the first time I can remember in quite a while they they’ve scored 100 points and this is the most points they’ve scored in a game since the 93-78 spanking they gave #3 Duke in 2011. Of course the bad news is that they gave up 93 points to a D2 school, which perhaps not a good portent moving forward. Still a win’s a win and anybody who’s not happy at 4-2 six games into what is probably going to be a long season, well there’s just no pleasing some people … SJU went out to an early 15-3 lead and was up 59-42 at the half – as a team they shot 77 percent from the field in the first half, including 9 of 12 from three. Which is somewhat unlike them. They stretched the second half lead to 18 at the 16 minute mark, at which point they got complacent and let Chaminade back into it. Eventually they’ll develop a killer instinct and that won’t be an issue, but it was Wednesday: Chaminade got it to within 6 with under a minute to play, but for a change they made their free throws to seal it … For the game SJU shot 60 percent from the field and 50 percent from three – again, unlike them – and had 21 assists; they had only 400 all of last year. They had 6 players in double figures, which I don’t remember that happening in a while either. Once again the defense was subpar – Chaminade shot 50 percent from the floor and 40 percent from three – which makes three games in a row now that they’ve gotten lit up. That is like them and a trend I expect to continue, because they don’t cover anybody … Rumor has it that four star recruit Kassoum Yawke was declared eligible by the NCAA this afternoon, which is good news if true. Because at SJU there is no silver lining without a cloud, various great minds are now debating whether he should be redshirted, and of course the answer is no. In the first place, you’d be hard pressed to name Saint John’s player in recent memory who’s benefited from the redshirt and in fact most of them have either not gotten any better or have gotten completely screwed. In the second, they’re already shorthanded and I’ve spent enough time over the past 15 years watching the walk-ons play. And finally, this is not a program that has the luxury of waiting around for their delicate blossoms to flower. Put the kid on the court and let him play. It’s probably not going to make much of a difference this year but the experience is likely to pay dividends in a couple of years when it might matter.
PLAYERS: One good thing about being shorthanded, it makes this part a breeze … From the shows what I know department: Amar Ablavocovih had what was by light years the best game of his career and if I had to bet, his life: 17 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds. A couple more like this and I might even learn how to spell his name … Mussini had 24 points – 16 in the first half including 5 of 6 from three – and 6 assists … Jones had 17 points and 11 rebounds but turned the ball over five times …Durand Johnson had 17 points and seems to be finding his stroke a little bit, or maybe it was the competition, who knows. His four FTs late sealed it …Mvouika had 12 and fouled out. I think that’s the first one this year, which makes sense considering that none of them play defense … Holyfield played little and contributed less
NOTES: Three recaps in three days. Who do these people think I am? Stephen King? … After displaying the patience of a saint for what must have been an interminable three days, John Sciambi finally snapped. He spent most of the game openly mocking nearly everything that came out of Walton’s mouth, and with good reason: because Bill Walton is a babbling idiot … Chaminade University is named for William Joseph Chaminade, a Roman Catholic cleric who had the misfortune of living in France during the French Revolution. I’d describe as unfortunate most people who lived in France at any time, but life during the revolution was particularly abominable: at the outset 40 thousand people were murdered over the course of little more than a year, many of whom had their heads lopped off via the guillotine by the inaptly named Committee of Public Safety for crimes against the state. Contrary to popular mythology most of those killed were peasants, and most of those peasants were killed for the crime of hoarding – an odd charge to levy against someone who presumably has little or nothing to begin with. After the Terror ended Chaminade returned from exile in Spain and founded the Marianist order, the point of which seems to have been to convert heathens to the ways of the one and true god, which is how they ended up doing missionary work in faraway Hawaii. Chaminade was proposed for beatification in the early 19th century but came up a tad short in the miracle department and had to settle for the designation Venerable, which is only about halfway to the right hand of the Father. It’s hard to take issue with the decision of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, because frankly some of these alleged miracles sound a bit sketchy. For example, one Rachel Baumgartner – whose name sounds to me suspiciously Jewish – claimed that her inoperable tumor disappeared after she attended a ceremony dedicated to Chaminade’s memory. But it seems like something of a cruel joke for a beneficent God to have cured her cancer only to cast her into the depths of fiery hell with the rest of the chosen people for her failure to accept Christ as her personal savior. So I tend to disbelieve her testimony … I’ve been going to the well with the famous alumni thing with pretty good results but came up empty with Chaminade. No one I ever heard of graduated from there – there was a William Faulkner but it turned out not to be the writer, just some guy. The real Faulkner went to Ole Miss. The Marianists do however also operate Chaminade High School in Mineola, which boasts as graduates Senator Pothole, Alfonse D’Amato; Brian Dennehy, whose moving portrayal of clown killer John Wayne Gacy earned him one of six Emmy nominations; Glen Hughes, the leather clad guy from the Village People; the great George Kennedy, who was in everything from Cool Hand Luke and the Dirty Dozen to the Naked Gun; Bill McKillop, who unfortunately could not recruit above 125th street; and phone sex aficionado Bill O’Reilly, former anchor of the hard hitting news show A Current Affair, a sample of whose work can be seen below.