The St. John’s Red Storm and DePaul Blue Demons couldn’t be anymore different than any two programs in the country. The Red Storm have youth, this enigmatic feel, the program is alive with only a future filled with sunshine. On the other hand, DePaul does have some talent that feels like it’s going untapped, a fan base that seems more and more withdrawn with every loss, and a culture of losing. None of that was on more display, when on Wednesday night the Johnnies escaped with a victory in overtime.
The game was fun for everyone to watch, even for DePaul fans until the end, but these two squads are headed in completely different directions. In hindsight, you can say the game itself was a microcosm of both teams’ seasons. Whenever a break needed to be had, St. John’s seemed to catch it. When JaKarr Sampson traveled in overtime (it was a travel), the referees called a foul and Sampson went to the line to finish off the Blue Demons.
Yet, even that foul call wasn’t the most confusing moment of the game. With regulation ticking down to last tenths of a second, a sloppy Red Storm offensive possession almost turned into a gift wrapped pair of free-throws to win the game. Nearly impossible to explain, I’m still confused(Mind you, that’s not hard to do), so just watch the video:
The no-call ended up being irrelevant but it could have ended up being a disaster. Had the referees got it wrong, and the Red Storm lost, the Johnnies season could have taken a huge turn in the wrong direction. Obviously, if they held up the foul call, DePaul fans everywhere would not only chalk this up to another Blue Demon moment under coach Oliver Purnell, but chip little pieces of their hearts away.
DePaul as a program should be better. They also have a fan base that, gluttons for punishment I assume, love this university’s basketball team through all of their horrible seasons(And even more horrible seasons). The Blue Demon athletic department have what should be an easy decision when the season ends, to fire Purnell. With the Catholic Seven starting anew with a brand new league maybe it’s time the DePaul program joins the rest of their brethren in having a respectable hoops program.
For St. John’s, well they got sunshine kids, sunshine.
Joe covers the Catholic Seven for Rant Sports. For the love of Sam Cassell, follow Joe on the Twitter Machine @JosephNardone