No matter how ugly a victory can look, at the end of the day it still counts in the win column. The St. John’s Red Storm put that theory to test against the Cincinnati Bearcats, upsetting the number 14 ranked team in the country 53-52. Behind freshman JaKarr Sampson’s 16 points and D’Angelo Harrion’s ability to make 30 foot threes(no video available, sorry), the Johnnies got their first win against a ranked team this season.
A few things should be taken from this game. Phil Greene looked panicked, lost, and over-dribbled in the final moments of the game. This seems to be a recurring them for the Red Storm’s point guard. Harrison, who struggled mightily in the first half, exploded in the second, finishing with 15 points.
Why it would be nice for Red Storm fans to try and take positives away from this game, this feels more like a Bearcats’ loss than a Johnnies’ victory. The Bearcats were down with 2 minutes to go in the first half and didn’t regain the lead until late in the second. This tends to be Cincinnati’s MO and playing ugly basketball for 30 minutes, while trying to recover late, finally caught up to them in this game.
St. John’s is going to have an up and down season considering they play such a youthful squad. However, if head coach Steve Lavin expects this team to even make the NCAA Tournament, he needs to figure out what is going on with Greene. The point guard has become such a liability late in games that his teammates seem genuinely disinterested on the offensive end.
It’s only two games into the conference schedule for the Johnnies, so it’s not exactly panic time. Going forward the Red Storm need to be more efficient offensively and find ways to keep the points coming when Harrison isn’t going offensively or dominating the ball. Greene was supposed to be the cure-all at point guard, but at the moment feels more like a detriment than a asset.
Joe covers the Catholic Seven for Rant Sports. For the love of Sam Cassell, follow him on the Twitter @JosephNardone