Outside of buying several of my ex-girlfriend’s a six pack of Pabst, there are few sure things in life. One thing you can be pretty sure of though when you sit down to watch a SJU Depaul basketball game is that you are likely to see some of the worst college basketball of the year. And for 20 minutes this one was no exception: the first half of Sunday’s 71-67 overtime loss to second place Depaul was just about the worst half any two D1 teams have played all year. The result of the horror was that Saint John’s took a 10 point lead into the locker room, thanks to Depaul’s 13 turnovers, most of them of the dribble the ball off your foot throw the ball into the stands variety and atrocious 2 for 13 3-point shooting. Once again SJU was not able to hold their advantage – this is the fourth game in a row now that an opposing coach has eaten Lavin’s second half lunch by making half time adjustments, although I admit to having no idea what they were outside of perhaps sayings something like stop dribbling the ball off your foot and stop missing all your threes. On the other hand the second half was quite entertaining, other than the outcome obviously, which leaves Saint John’s mired in ninth place at 1 and 4 in conference. Anyone who thought that possible two weeks ago raise your hand and then bring them down repeatedly on your pants, which are on fire … Neither team performed well on the offensive end: for the game SJU shot 27 percent from the floor and 17 percent from three and Depaul meanwhile shot higher from three (35) from the floor (33). In the end the game came down to free throws: 60 fouls were called in all, 3 players fouled out, and 62 free throws taken. Those of you think that the free throw shot is the single most exciting play in college basketball and not an all an annoyance that slows the pace to a glacial crawl were probably on the edge of your seats. The other thing that made a difference was the DePaul press, which forced a bunch of turnovers and which I’m surprised everyone doesn’t do. Press and fall back into a zone, we’d probably not score another basket for the rest of the year … Coach Lavin once again wore a shirt with a collar, for which I take full credit. Unfortunately it gives me one less thing to whinge about. And in fact other than some strange substitutions – at one point he had 4 guards plus Jessica Albavogchavick out there – and a perplexing use of his last TO in regulation – after calling his penultimate one to set his defense up with 31 seconds left he spent his last one when that one expired – I don’t have much to whinge about the coaching either. For the most part Lavin keeping out of his own way is him out-coaching the other guy, even when the other guy coaching is Oliver Purnell … All of which leaves SJU at 1 and 4 and at the bottom of the league and the chances of turning things around become ever slimmer. On the bright side there’s nowhere to go but up and not a lot further down they can fall. Excelsior.
PLAYERS: Rysheed Jordan started his second game in a row and seems to have shaken off whatever funk he was in a couple of weeks ago. Seventeen points, 4 steals, 4 assists and two free clutch free throws to send the game into overtime … Phil Greene had 17 points as well but on 5 for 13 shooting. Considering his appalling past performances against hometown DePaul – in two of seven games he’s managed to get shut out – we should be grateful. Evidently a regular reader of this blog, which has spent the past two weeks haranguing him for his paucity of free throw attempts, Greene took the ball to the basket on more than one occasion and ended up six for six from the line … Harrison had 11 points, 7 of those from the free throw line. The announcers said he injured his calf in practice yesterday, and it showed … A good 16 minutes by Jasilionus II, who evidently is a basketball player, as has been rumored. It would not surprise me to see him start a game, as trying to catch lightning in a bottle is one of Lavin’s signature coaching moves. Some would say his only move, and by some I mean me … Obekpa got a ferocious rebound with 30 seconds to go in regulation and his put back made it a one-point game. To atone he missed the game winner in OT from 10 feet .. Pointer had 11 points but did little else before fouling out .. Jamal Branch is awful … Balamou got a minute or two … Two straight DNPs for Christian Jones, erstwhile replacement for Jakarr “+ x –“ Sampson.
NOTES: DePaul grads include mayor for life Richard Daley, keyboardist Ray Manzarek of the Doors, and actors Tom Bosley, Harvey Korman, Joe Mantegna, Karl Malden and John C. Reilly. Their hoop alumni comprise a pretty good starting five: Mark Aguirre, Terry Cummings, George Mikan, Quentin Richardson and Rod Strickland. DePaul was also the victor in one of the most horrifying losses in the pantheon of humiliating Saint John’s defeats. Let’s reminisce. It’s 1987. Depaul is 28-2, ranked 7th in the country, and is a three seed in the Midwest region. Saint John’s, the six seed, has squeaked by Wichita State in the first round 57-55. The game is for some reason on DePaul’s home court in Chicago. With 36 seconds left SJU is ahead by five, 67-62, this despite the referees having awarded DePaul twice as many free throws: of 25, they made 21 to Saint John’s 9. After an exchange of baskets and with Depaul down 4 with 12 seconds left, lunkhead Terry Bross fouled Dallas Comegys on a put back, making it 69-67. Instead of making the FT Comegys – contrary to the strategy devised in the huddle by his HOF coach Ray Meyer – attempted to miss the FT on purpose, a play that never works, unless, like Comegys, you violate the lane so egregiously that by the time the ball hits the rim you’re standing under the basket. It goes without saying that no violation was called and Comegys made the lay up. Tie score. Mark Jackson missed a pull up as time expired and DePaul went on to win in overtime. History repeats. It was really one of the worst losses ever, rivaled only by the Duke game the year before and whatever game it was where Mullin missed that free throw, either Penn or Temple, I CBA to check … The 87 SJ team included Jackson, porn mogul Willie Glass, the most overrated player in SJ history Matt Brust, Jasilionus prototype Marco Baldi, and Marcus Broadnax and Elander Lewis – one of whom got the scholarship that would have gone to Gary Payton if Louie wasn’t such a nimrod. Game goat Terry Bross went on to a brief 10 game career as a pitcher with the NY Mets before becoming a sports agent, in which profession he was a few years ago accused of pimping out a porn actress called Bibi Jones in an attempt to recruit clients. In an attempt to drive web traffic and to appease those critics who complain that I am tedious because I use too many words they don’t understand and not enough pictures that they might, here she is.
Finally, speaking of whores, Greg Anthony, who broke the news of Steve Lavin’s hiring in 2010, was arrested over the weekend for cavorting with prostitutes. And not just any prostitutes either: a transgendered prostitute from Craig’s List. In case you are a Neanderthal CIS * like me, a transgender is a person who associates psychologically with a gender opposite to their genitalia. For example a female born with a vagina who thinks she should have been a guy named Dave or a guy named Dave born with a wiener who thinks he should have been born a lesbian. (As opposed to a transsexual, who’s one who skips all the Freud and just starts lopping off body parts on the theory that nature has put them there by mistake.) So presumably Anthony was looking to bang a guy in a dress. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Pictured below is his wife, who’s probably not coincidentally pretty much a dead ringer for Reggie Miller.
* CIS are individuals who are born associating favorably with their genitals. That is, a male assigned male at birth – a guy with a penis who thinks he’s a guy – is a cis. In the old days these sort of people were considered normal and their opposites sideshow attractions. Nowadays everything is normal, lest someone’s feelings get hurt.