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Sleeping with the Enemy: The Johnnies

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We soldier on. Here with us to dish on all things Johnnies are our buddies at Rumble in the Garden, your trusted source for all things St. John’s on the internet. Our answers to their are questions are HERE. Let’s do this!

We're terrible, you're pretty terrible. What has happened?

We prefer intriguing & sometimes surprising...

St. John's is rebuilding the roster from scratch. Some slick fellow signed a bunch of players who couldn't make it to campus for a number of reasons - and some who couldn't stay on campus either. Then the new coach brought in some players who weren't... well, they were a roster signed in April, so they weren't all gems.

That's the roster stuff and let me cut to the chase - St. John's is a freshman-led team that likes to play fast, but that speed leads to miscues and runouts the other way. Plus the idea of "protecting the paint" is an evolving concept, one that hasn't been well-executed by the Johnnies. The defense involves a lot of reaching and hoping. on a good day, so many buckets rain down from the arc that it doesn't matter.

Not all days are good days.

It's been a strange season for St. John's so far. They beat Butler but lost to Delaware State? What's been going on with the Johnnies?

Not all days are good days.

Delaware State is a hidden gem! Also, they played smart basketball and repeatedly attacked the rim and St. John's has big men who are big in name only (not in game). Some will get better, but right now it looks like a 5-guard lineup sometimes.

In a nutshell - there are two high scoring guards, two more who supplement their scoring on a good day (vs Xavier was not a good day). The team wants to move around, space and hit threes, but some players are better passers than others. There isn't a reliable inside game to speak of, but the center Tariq Owens can compete for rebounds.

The big man situation has not come together (and Yankuba Sima transferred).The JUCO wing gets called for a lot of fouls and tries to bully his way to the basket.

Sometimes it feels like the true trust between the team members is lacking in subtle ways, and some players try to win the game on their own with quick jacked shots.

Who stands out for the Red Storm and what can they do well?

Shamorie Ponds is terrible. Don't worry about him and Marcus LoVett, who are said to be on of the highest-scoring freshman duos in the country. Neither of them can shoot from outside the arc or get buckets off the dribble. Anyone telling you different also believes in Russian hacking, ok?

You want to watch out for Kassoum Yakwe. Despite his modest numbers recently, he's actually been giving points and rebounds to others in need, embodying the Vincentian ideal in some manner. Amar Alibegovic is a bad, bad man, I can't even talk about him.

Beating Cuse is always wonderful, isn't it?

Just watched it again because I was feeling down.

Watching the fans leave the Dome with eight minutes left will be one of those strange things I mutter to my hopice care nurse at the end of my days. Or something I will share whenever I stop in Syracuse for lunch driving across NY State.

How have fans been perceiving Chris Mullin's tenure? Do you see signs that his rebuild is working or is he on thin ice?

He no longer ice skates on the Long Island Sound because that would be foolish, and Chris Mullin is no one's fool.

Ok, so there are two minds on things. Some fans really do think Mullin is making strong progress, with the scoring of Ponds and LoVett, who, as I told you, you shouldn't worry about. All fake. But after the transfer of the team's starting center and some of the losses, there are definitely fans who think it's all over and Mullin has received too much leeway already.

Those fans also think the game has passed Chris Mack by with his two losses.

I'm not even saying that they are wrong, per se, but the takes have gotten hot like dragon sneezes after every loss, and I just don't think I can fully evaluate how much progress. But St. John's has competed in most of their games. That's progress.

Have you had the chance to watch any of Georgetown this season? What seems to be the problem? Feel free to pile on JTIII, since we've been doing that for most of the season already.

Barely watched, just the second half of that Arkansas State game. And the Hoyas weren't BAD, they were just... lacking an identity, you know? And with that much talent, playing "desperation" seems unseemly (btw, the refs were just giving calls away to the Hoyas in that game).

And with so many big "guards", it's always seemed like staying with an opposing guard looks hard. The perimeter defense breaks down in subtle ways, there is reaching and - I don't know, it just looks off.

Where is the best arena or gym you have watched a college basketball game in person?

Rose Hill Gym in the Bronx. Even though it's Fordham that place is insanely tiny. Shout out to SEFCU Arena, U at Albany's home court, because that place can get loud as hell and rock.

You all should study those two when you want to know what "atmosphere" looks like.

Do you have any predictions to make about the NFL playoffs?

Someone is going to knock the living hell out of a QB. Oh that happened today...

Other prediction - they will be kinda boring.

List your top three favorite candy bars and explain your choices.

Candy bars? Hm.

I love Sweetarts but that's not a bar.

60% cacoa chocolate bars - because it feels like eating from the chocolate source.

I've gotten into fruit granola bars but that's just because I like to taunt my child when he's being a jerk with his favorite snack, being eaten by daddy.

White chocolate kit kats because I love eating chocolate by product/ chocolate runoff and I love kit kats so much that I can endure my wife's horrified stares.

It's quickly becoming a tradition for us to ask about movies during these interviews. Have you had the chance to see any of this year's likely Oscar contenders yet?

Movies? I haven't set foot in a theater in... well, is Shawshank Redemption still out?

Final score prediction?

The part of me that thinks kidney punches are funny when they happen to someone else thinks "73-66 St. John's", but more realistically, 78-75 Georgetown.