The St. John's Red Storm met the Division II St. Thomas Aquinas on Wednesday night in Jamaica, Queens in the first of two exhibition matchups on their slate as the 2014-15 season looms in nine days.
Suffice it to say... things didn't really go as planned.
The Red Storm lost to St. Thomas Aquinas at Carnesecca Arena by the tally of 90-58. Yes. That's right. Division II St. Thomas Aquinas defeated Division I St. John's by the score of 90-58 in Queens.
That is a real score, and it's a real thing that happened.
Our friends at Rumble in the Garden offered a little bit of an explanation:
The Johnnies looked sloppy, uncomfortable and lost offensively for most of the night (37 percent shooting overall and a whopping 28 turnovers!). Durand Johnson, one point on 0-of-7 from the field, couldn't follow up on his hot shooting performance from the Red and White Scrimmage and Ron Mvouika struggled mightily, scoring four points and turning the ball over five times. Darien Williams scored eight points and Yankuba Sima put up three points and was not much of a factor in the paint after the first couple of minutes.
St. John's did not have their full cast of players on Wednesday. Marcus LoVett, who seemed to hurt his lower leg during the Red and White Scrimmage, emerged from the tunnel with crutches and did not play. Felix Balamou (injury suffered on Saturday) and Kassoum Yakwe (eligibility up in the air) also were inactive.
The Red Storm were bothered by the Spartans full court pressure as they turned the ball over a total of 16 times in the opening half and trailed, 50-34, at the break. Mvouika and Malik Ellison, six turnovers on the night, had trouble in-bounding the ball on multiple occasions with Mussini failing to separate from Spartan defenders that were all over him.
Things were certainly expected to be in transition for new head coach Chris Mullin, and it's just an exhibition game, but you could not have asked for a worse start to the year than this result. And Mullin certainly seemed less than pleased with the performance and himself, too:
Mullin: "It's embarrassing but there's no pointing fingers. I take the responsibility. I thought they were more prepared than they were."— Rumble In The Garden (@rumbleSBN) November 5, 2015
Now, of course, as it's been said, it's JUST an exhibition, folks. So there's no need to panic... just yet. But in the words of New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi, "It's not what you want."
And that might be an understatement.