St. John’s Red Storm
Victor Rudd, a 6-foot-8 transfer from Arizona State, scored all of his 24 points in the second half, heeding the advice of teammates to remain aggressive and leading South Florida to a 64-49 victory over St. John’s on Wednesday night.
Red Storm coach Steve Lavin said Tuesday that Branch has enrolled at St. John’s and that after sitting one season per NCAA transfer rules will have 3½ seasons of eligibility.
Moe Harkless was destined to be one of the better first year performers in the Big East and after watching him through 17 games it’s clear that he’s not just one of the elite players in his class — he’s one of the elite players in the entire conference.
Harkless had 21 points and 10 rebounds — his sixth double-double in the last 10 games — but he fouled out with 5:15 to play in the Red Storm’s 69-49 loss to No. 11 Georgetown at Madison Square Garden.
Davante Gardner had career bests with 22 points and 15 rebounds to lead No. 25 Marquette to an 83-64 win over St. John’s on Wednesday night.
St. John’s couldn’t hit a shot. Well, the Red Storm did make one in a span of 26 shots in a 73-58 loss to No. 11 Louisville on Tuesday night.
The annual showdown between hated rivals Louisville and Kentucky comes at high noon on New Year’s Eve on the heels of the Cardinals’ Big East opening game loss at home to Georgetown.
The list of great freshmen in the Big East is long and star-studded. Moe Harkless scored 32 points — the most ever by a freshmen in his Big East debut — and St. John’s had its best offensive game of the season in a 91-67 victory over Providence.
Ed Cooley still has a long ways to go in making Providence a Big East power but the first-year coach has done an admirable job with the Friars during the early portion of the season.
The Red Storm (5-5), who only used six players in the game, appeared to take control with an 18-0 run that spanned halftime and gave them a 42-26 lead with 16:53 to play.
St. John’s will be without starting point guard Nadirah McKenith indefinitely as she recovers from a sprained right knee.
It feels like every year Jim Boeheim’s team gets off to a monster roll in November and December. That could all change on Saturday.
Lorenzo Romar’s team has had multiple opportunities to make a statement early in the season but a showdown against the Blue Devils at Madison Square Garden represents an entirely different level of opportunity.
Freshman Anthony Davis scored 15 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and had eight of a school-record 18 blocks in No. 1 Kentucky’s 81-59 victory over St. John’s on Thursday night.
It will be interesting the see how the Red Storm respond against Kentucky without Steve Lavin on the bench.