After losing 72-58 at No. 12 Louisville on Thursday night, St. John’s doesn’t play another game until Wednesday night when they host South Florida. The Red Storm, who have been without head coach Steve Lavin for the last two games due to the passing of his father, will have their head coach back for that game.
Lavin, according to Roger Rubin of the NY Daily News, will fly back from northern California on Sunday and will resume head coaching duties on Monday. Assistant coach Rico Hines led St. John’s in road games at No. 9 Syracuse and Louisville this week, arguably the team’s two toughest games on the schedule to date.
This “prolonged” break is something the young Red Storm needed, as they look to recuperate not just physically but also mentally and emotionally.
“The whole team is real emotional right now, even the coaching staff, but we’re rallying around each other,” sophomore guard Phil Greene said in Wednesday’s Daily News about the state of the team. “We’re just going to have to get through it . . . we’re going pick each other up and be ready to play.”
The Red Storm played well for a solid portion of the Louisville game but fell apart down the stretch, as the Cardinals went on a second-half run sparked by guard Russ Smith. Smith scored 21 of his 24 points in the second half. Louisville shot 20-of-26 from the foul line in the second half.
Having lost three of their last four games, St. John’s will play three of its final five games at home with both Pittsburgh and Marquette visiting the Big Apple. So there will be opportunities for the Red Storm to improve their NCAA tournament resume before the Big East tournament.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) South Carolina freshman guard Rakym Felder was arrested Sunday and charged with several counts, including assault, resisting arrest and public disorderly conduct.
Felder, a 6-foot-1 shooting guard from New York, is being held at Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Richland County, according to the facility’s website.
A team spokeswoman said coach Frank Martin was aware of Felder’s arrest and was gathering more information. Per South Carolina athletic department policy, Felder is suspended indefinitely.
Felder was charged by the Columbia police with simple assault and battery, resisting arrest, public disorderly conduct, failure to stop on police command, a pedestrian on a controlled access highway and use of another’s or altered license or identification card.
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The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.