A Quick, Fake Summary: St. John’s Cannot Hide or Ever, Ever EscapePosted by Gerald Smith on December 1st, 2011
Most folks wouldn’t be surprised if St. John’s lost tonight; any young team without their head coach in attendance would be rightful underdogs visiting a #1 team on their home court. It also wouldn’t be surprising if Kentucky finished the game with lot of blocks. They’ve been swatting them at an excellent pace for most of this early season. But the combination of Red Storm youth and Kentucky defensive length and intensity created the perfect environment for freshman forward Anthony Davis to wreak havoc.
Davis accumulated eight blocks through the second half of Kentucky’s 81-59 victory tonight. Kentucky fans in Rupp Arena were openly cheering for Davis to tie or break Kentucky’s single-game block record (nine, shared by Andre Riddick and Sam Bowie). When referee Jim Burr called a questionable body foul on Davis denying the ninth block, it was like a pitcher on a no-hitter in the 8th inning giving up a bloop single. Davis subbed out with 4:44 left in the game with 15 points and 15 rebounds and having outshined his teammates on the national stage.
Davis wasn’t the only Wildcat stacking the blocks: He and his team set a new single-game record in total blocks (18). Kentucky sophomore forward Terrence Jones had 26 points (7-12 FG, 1-2 3FG, 11-16 FT), nine rebounds, four steals and four blocks. In just five minutes, forward Eloy Vargas had two blocks of his own. Guards Doron Lamb (16 points), Marquis Teague (five points) and forwards Darius Miller (nine points) and Kyle Wiltjer all had one block each.
St. John’s’ field goal results summarizes the game: 19 made shots, 18 shots blocked by Kentucky, 33 missed shots. The Johnnies’ guards were completely overwhelmed by the Wildcats’ speed and length: Until 5:59 in the second half, St. John’s had not made a single three-pointer. Guards D’Angelo Harrison (five points on 2-9 FG, 1-6 3FG) Sir’Dominic Pointer (nine points on 3-8 FG) and Moe Harkless (16 points on 4-12 FG and 8-10 FT) struggled mightily throughout the game. Those guards and Nurideen Lindsey combined for 13 of St. John’s 19 turnovers for the game.
The Johnnies really could have used somebody telling them, “just play it cool, boy. Play it cool.”