Screen Shot 2012-03-17 at 2.57.41 PM

Syracuse’s depth proves too much for Kansas State

Leave a comment

If No. 16 UNC-Asheville could run Syracuse to the wire in the Round of 64, Kansas State had to have some confidence heading into their Round of 32 game against the Orange, but then they lost big man Jamar Samuels.

Reportedly because of nothing that had to do with academic problems or behavior, Samuels sat and the Wildcats were without their best rebounder when they could have used him the most.

Though they won the battle on the glass, Kansas State shot an abysmal 31% from the floor and fell to No. 1-seeded Syracuse, 75-59, in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Dion Waiters had 18 points and Scoop Jardine had 16 for the Orange, who shot 51% from the floor and were able to get to the line 29 times, hitting nearly 80%.

The Syracuse zone was alive, with active hands and their signature length coming through with much more consistency than against UNC-Asheville in their first game.

Freshman Rakeem Christmas was an important piece for Syracuse, putting up eight points and 11 rebounds in a breakout game as he filled in for the academically ineligible Fab Melo.

Christmas led the battle on the front lines, where Kansas State didn’t have the depth to compete with Syracuse.

Samuels’ absence forced Jordan Henriquez to take on a bigger role, which he accepted and thrived in, with 10 points and 16 rebounds, including 10 offensive rebounds. The fault was not Henriquez’s, but more so the Wildcats’ inability to keep pace with the Orange for 40 minutes.

That effect stretched out to the perimeter, where Kansas State was unable to hit with relative consistency from the 3-point range, unlike UNC-Asheville on Thursday afternoon.

The Orange move on to play the winner of Vanderbilt and Wisconsin.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Big South moving 2016 conference tournament

Cliff Ellis
AP Photo
Leave a comment

The Big South is moving its 2016 men’s basketball tournament out of Coastal Carolina and a new site will be figured out by November. According to a release from the conference the Big South is using a league bylaw that stipulates that members leaving with less than two years of notice are not eligible to host championships. Coastal Carolina announced this summer that it would be leaving for the Sun Belt as of July 2016, so the Big South wants to find a new location that benefits teams staying in the league.

The Big South men’s and women’s conference tournaments are now also going to be split into two unique events, with the men’s championships being held Thursday-Sunday, March 3-6. The women’s event comes the next week from March 10-13. Bids for both events will come into the league and a new location will be selected in the next few months.

It will be interesting to see if the site of the conference tournament is moved to a campus site or placed at a neutral venue. That type of thing could alter how the NCAA tournament autobid gets played out. With Coastal Carolina coming off of back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances, this obviously changes their approach to the postseason now that they have to leave their city.

Virginia Tech could redshirt sophomore guard

AP Photo
Leave a comment

Virginia Tech is trying to decide what to do with injury sophomore guard Ahmed Hill, who had surgery this summer to deal with a tear in his patella tendon in his left knee.

The 6-foot-5 Hill has still not been released to work out with the team, but he is about a week to 10 days ahead of schedule in his rehab. But the injury is still nagging enough that Hill might not be healthy enough to really contritbute this season. Head coach Buzz Williams is deciding soon whether he wants to redshirt Hill or not.

Hill started a team-high 30 games for the Hokies last season, averaging 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.

“I don’t have a decision on (Hill),” Williams said to reporters on Monday. “I will make the final decision. I’ll let (him) and his mom be a part of it, but I want to make a decision using the wisdom of doing this for a long period of time. If you let a kid make the decision, they always want to play.

“Right now, I don’t feel comfortable that I would want to play him. It’s just too early to be able to have much more of an answer than that.”

It’s still a rebuilding year for Virginia Tech, but they do get Maryland transfer Seth Allen, who is a talented guard who can score. The Hokies were hoping to have Hill and Allen as complimentary perimeter scorers, but now the plans might have to be altered. Williams went on to say that he would like to make a decision on Hill’s status by Halloween.