I’m going to half ass my way through this recap, much like Saint John’s half assed its way through Monday night’s embarrassing 83-55 loss to the Georgetown Hoyas Monday night in Washington. This is one of those games that just leaves me empty: the play was awful, the game deadly dull and turgid, and the production atrocious, so that I cannot even this morning find the energy to gleefully revel in the misery of big girl’s blouse Saint John’s forum fans wailing and gnashing their teeth about it: a month ago Mullin was a moron and two weeks ago maybe he wasn’t so bad after all and now again this morning he needs to be fired and Alumni Hall reduced to a salt strewn field of burned down ruins. Zzzzz. Usually that much of other people’s misery gives me a dangerous four hour schaden-boner that might require immediate medical attention but this morning finds me spent and flaccid … Things started out promisingly enough but as we can see from the following graphic which for the time being has become a regular feature
they quickly turned to shit. What was vaguely interesting is where exactly the game turned, because it’s one of those for want of a shoe deals: with just under three minutes left in the first half and the score 33-30, Jessie Govan missed two free throw. Someone – I didn’t notice who – failed to box out and after the rebound Bashir Ahmed fouled Jagan Mosely, who made both. Forty seconds later Georgetown was up eight and the game was over, I could feel it, and I was right: Georgetown outscored Saint John’s 50-18 the rest of the way – although not even a pathetic cynic such as myself could imagine the horror that awaited in the second half. Which second half I’m not going to bother discussing, except to say that Saint John’s had two points, six turnovers and seven fouls in the first five minutes or so while Georgetown’s lead ballooned to 10 and the bottom fell out … There is nothing interesting in the box score unless you are a connoisseur of shit on the bottom of your shoe in which case roll this around on your tongue: Saint John’s shot 25 percent from the floor, 16 percent from three, were outrebounded 50-30, had a meager seven assists, turned the ball over 16 times and committed 27 fouls … Speaking of fouls, there seems to be a point of emphasis this year among officials on getting me to hang myself from boredom and frustration. John Higgins, Les Jones and Mike Eades called 53 fouls Monday night, one every 45 seconds, which resulted in 60 free throws. That means in Saint John’s last two games there have been 100 fouls called and 113 free throws taken, in 80 minutes of basketball. As I noted after last game, Saint John’s barely plays defense and on offense they stand around the perimeter like statues until someone hoists up a three. This is not particularly physical basketball and certainly not the sort of physical basketball that resulted in Kevin Williams taking a swing at Pat Ewing and Bill Goodwin punching Reggie Williams in the head. I don’t mind losing the games and I’m at this point inured to bad basketball but I’m not so dead in my soul that I don’t still hate and resent authority figures. Next game I hope one of these dopes swallows his whistle and chokes on it, not to death, that would be needlessly cruel, but maybe until a little brain damage occurs and he has to have his ass wiped by a fat Honduran nurse for the rest of his life … Villanova next at the Garden, take the points
PLAYERS: If there was a bright spot and there wasn’t, it was the play of Kassoum Yawke. Yawke was aggressive on the offensive end early – before things fell apart he had a dunk on a pick and roll, an and one in traffic and made a nice bounce pass in the lane to Owens for a lay in – and on defense was seemed motivated by the presence of Jessie Govan, against whom he displayed similarly rousing play last year. He also drew two offensive fouls, although his proficiency at flopping for them leads me to believe he might be considering a transfer to dewk …. Ahmed was the only player who seemed troubled by the fact that his team was getting its head kicked in … Lovett had 10 points on only seven shots. Rumor is that he had the flu, in which case he had an excuse, as opposed to the rest of them …. Ponds was 3 for 11 from the floor, oh for five from three, and MIA on defense. To say that he mailed it in would be an insult to brave mailmen such as Newman, David Berkowitz, and Sam Drucker … Over his past 38 minutes Malik Allison has committed 9 personal fouls, which seems something of a stretch considering how few of those 38 minutes he spent playing defense. Oh for three from the free throw line, which makes him 21 of 41 for the year … Owens had six rebounds and two points in the 15 minutes he played before fouling out. He would have had more points but he blew two dunks in the first half … Alibegowitch’s missed three shots (all threes) in nine minutes and this is his line otherwise where the three is fouls: 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 …. Darien Williams played although he might as well have stayed on the bench, as did someone called Brandon Lawrence, who I don’t think I knew existed before three minutes ago … Things were so bad last night that Federico Missini missed all his garbage time threes, whereas on a good night he’s good for a couple once they’re down 30 or so. The deadeye shooter was 1-6 for three and is now 4 for 14 in three losses since his return to the lineup. Take away his four best games where he was 16 of 25 (versus powerhouses Bethune-Cookman, Tulane, Fordham and CSUN) and he’s at 15 of 46 for the year, 32 percent, which is, say, just what he shot last year.
NOTES: If Tim Brando didn’t have too much wine at dinner he should consider a brain scan, because much of what came out of his mouth last night made little sense. I can’t be bothered to rehash it all and I realize that there’s not a lot to talk about in a game like that but it would be nice if tried to act professionally, he’s been in the business since the dinosaurs. Rather than basketball Fox Sports coverage of much of the second half featured a series of close ups of a seemingly demented John Thompson excoriating the officials for stealing his jello while Brando and Jim Jackson reminisced about what they had for lunch in 1987. If I hadn’t been so drunk myself I’d have had to mute them … Saint John’s recruit Zach Brown was arrested yesterday for the second time in the space of a year and I suspect – suspect, geddit? – that’s the last time we’ll hear his name until he turns up dead under a bridge somewhere. Evidently the 7’2” black man thought no one would notice if he reached across the counter in a Walgreen’s and stole cash from the register before fleeing in a car with a shattered windshield. So we’ve established that he’s not very bright. Some kind hearted souls are suggesting that considering his troubled history and the predilections of the baby Jesus towards those of us who have sinned that the university give him a second or third or whatever chance, but I suspect not. There are on the one hand various criminals who’ve gone on to successful careers as NBA players – Tyreke Evans for example, and Allen Iverson and of course original gangster Marvin Barnes – but there are many more cases where things don’t work out quite as well, the one that springs most readily to mind being Luther Wright, a similarly enormous and troubled center who was coddled through high school and college and played briefly in the NBA before ending up in a mental institution. Let’s hope history does not repeat itself while of course knowing it probably will.