Georgetown and Villanova were tough contests. Big losses against good teams on their home courts. St. John's is not a very good team.
Sure, K-Mac's suspension is a distraction. Sure, Notre Dame's still undefeated at home and the Red Storm did beat Syracuse on Sunday. There are plenty of excuses for tonight's embarrassing loss, but excuses were are for teams that aren't good enough to win. Tonight, the Irish played down to a deeply inferior opponent, played tough to get back in the game, but just didn't get the job done.
Russell Carter single handedly lead an Irish comeback. He scored 32 points to keep the game from becoming a slaughter and very nearly stole a win at the Garden. He had two steals and five rebounds to add to a very good overall output. Russ certainly looks like an All-American.
Colin Falls was mediocre, which is better than many of his games but far worse than his best. He scored 13 points in 4 of 12 shooting, which is just fine for the #3 or #4 shooter on a team. Unfortunately, when only two players score in double digits, they both better be shooting lights out. It just didn't happen tonight.
How can you make only 1 of 8 shots as a very good post player in a close game? Rob Kurz somehow found a way. His lack of inside scoring lead to three straight off target shots from deep between 5:12 and 2:05 left in the game. Any points during that stretch could have turned the game in favor of the Irish for good. However, without an ability to score in the paint, our players resorted to jacking up low percentage shots which doomed an already sinking ship. Kurz, who did manage two blocks on defense, also needed a better night rebounding the ball. His nine rebounds, a solid total, still paled in comparison with Lamont Hamilton's eleven. Hamilton, who totaled eleven rebounds over the three games before the Syracuse win. Kurz should bounce back from this and we will need his best effort against more physical Big East teams down low.
Luke Harangody was also nonexistent. Only one point and three rebounds in twleve minutes. Luke Zeller, along with Kurz and Harangody, picked up three fouls early and managed one rebound and a missed three pointer. With all three big men in foul trouble, a result to Georgetown makes sense.
Tory Jackson was pretty solid, turning the ball over five times to eight assists and making a third of his shots. He played good defense on the guards and nearly went the whole game. Jonathan Peoples received very little playing time and failed to put up any stats.
Zach Hillesland was the one bright spot off the bench for the Irish. He scored six points and grabbed six rebounds playing a career high 32 minutes. Hillesland played a full 20 more minutes than starter Luke Harangody and was a good option on the floor.
The game was a bad loss and is sure to leave a bad taste in each of our mouths until the Irish hopefully pummel 'Nova on Saturday. Unfortunately, we will have to wait a full week to get another shot at our first road win, at Syracuse. Life goes on, and the sun will come out tomorrow. At least I hope.
I mean, I thought this would be the scariest thing I'd see all day.