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Username Post: St. John's
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Posts: 3823

Reg: 02-04-06
12-10-18 04:24 PM - Post#268532    
    In response to SecS3

A chime-in for Will Venable, the best penetrating and finishing guard for the Tigers I've ever seen, who repeatedly blew past high-major guys.

As for the game, the big news of course was that Llewelyn looks like what was advertised, particularly onsidering this was his first experience of college basketball against a talented opponent in a big setting and with only practices to get used to his teammates. So yay on that score. Funky low release on the jumper but a ton of offensive game, including some much-needed vision and passing. Interestingly, though, not able to overcome teammates' tendency to turn the ball over, where Cannady and Stephens were major culprits but others pitched in as well.

Morales once again confirmed my feeling that he is a critical spark-plug on both ends for this team. His steals and ball-pressure were often the only thing breaking St. John's scoring runs and he was a great offensive lubricant. Aririguzoh was too big and too good for their bigs for much of the game.

Cannady was awesome again, especially in the first half before the St. John's players caught on that, yes, you really do have to track him way out there. Too many TOs and he maybe needed to drive more against hard close-outs, but a good offensive game.

I still think we have not seen the best of Stephens, who looked really out of sync in this game. It didn't help that his outside shot looked hesitant and inaccurate, or that a teammate missed him when he made a great backdoor cut, but it seemed like he didn't know when and where to get the ball. Maybe more experience with Llewelyn will help.

Much was a tiny bit better with his floor game and defense but not back to the confident scorer he looked like in the first half of his freshman season. No one else got enough consecutive minutes (or they disappeared out there and so I didn't notice) to get more of a feel.

The D was hard to evaluate because St. John's scored off so many turnovers. (For a while the Tigers compensated by forcing a lot of turnovers themselves, but too often they'd get a steal and give it right back, which also happened a lot against St. Joe's. They are not, collectively, strong with the ball or good at securing loose balls.)

The first-half D in the half court was solid enough, especially the defensive rebounding. As Princeton wore down in the second half and had to gamble more to catch up it didn't look as good. The Johnnies have some guys who can really play and they are unselfish, so I can't complain too much. Perhaps my expectations have slipped.

Iona will be a good chance to figure things out with Llewelyn and get Stephens untracked before the test at Cameron.
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