Chat with Kieran Darcy
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPNNewYork.com staff writer Kieran Darcy stops by to chat about the New York college sports scene.
As a staff writer for ESPNNewYork.com, Darcy covers the New York sports scene, college sports in particular. He joined ESPN in August of 2000, after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball for the Quakers. He also used to contribute to ESPN.com's Page 2.
Send your questions now and join Darcy Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Kieran Darcy (1:01 PM)
Hey everybody. Happy to be with you, before I get on a plane and head to Lexington for tomorrow night's game between St. John's and No. 1-ranked Kentucky. Should be a tremendous atmosphere -- and a tremendous challenge -- for the Red Storm. Happy to take your questions on the game, St. John's, or any of the other local college hoops schools. (Or the Rutgers football debacle I witnessed last Saturday.)
Johnny A (Forest Hills)
What do you think the effect of Lavin not coaching these games will have on recruiting for the Johnnies? They already had Ledo and Pelle decommit which are gigantic blows to their future success. It appears there must be some hesitancy for recruits based on the uncertainty and I'm sure there is some negative recruiting with other coaches getting in these kids ears about it.
Kieran Darcy (1:09 PM)
Does it have an effect? Sure. The coach is such a big part of why kids choose schools, and it's natural for them to be concerned when the coach is away from the team because of a health issue. Plus, I'd be shocked if someone isn't stooping to negative recruiting. But, arguably Lavin's biggest strength is his salesmanship, and he's still going to be on the recruiting trail during this leave of absence -- in fact, he may even be out of town recruiting while his team takes on Kentucky tomorrow night. That bodes well for St. John's.
Thomas (New York)
What do you anticipate from God'sgift tomorrow night? He had a good first couple of games, then cooled off, and then played better again vs. Northeastern.
Kieran Darcy (1:13 PM)
I anticipate he will be the key to the game -- St. John's simply cannot win if God'sgift has a quiet night or gets in foul trouble. It was a good sign that he finally bounced back against Northeastern, and he sounded quietly confident and excited about the challenge tomorrow night. He'll have his hands full with Anthony Davis and Terrence Jones inside. I think the St. John's guards have to try to get him involved offensively early, try to get him the ball on the low-block. And he has to be aggressive, and attack those bigs. Getting either Davis or Jones in foul trouble would be a huge swing for the Red Storm -- and it can be done. Davis fouled out in Kentucky's 10-point loss to Old Dominion, and both Davis and Jones had four fouls in the 10-point win over Kansas.
How do you think the johnnies will handle kentucky considering they only have 7 guys playing? They looked tired against northeastern
Kieran Darcy (1:18 PM)
It's a tall order -- under any circumstances, let alone with just seven players, and missing your head coach. A key will be getting off to a decent start, unlike so many of St. John's previous games this season, when they've fallen behind. Moe Harkless said that there are no moral victories -- they are going to Lexington to win. He is right to say that. But truth be told, I think if the Red Storm can just hang with the Wildcats for 40 minutes and have a respectable showing, it will pay off huge dividends -- particularly in terms of confidence going forward. On the other hand, a blowout loss could be a crippling blow early in the season.
Gregory (new jersey)
do you think Rutgers men's basketball will win more then 15 games this year?
Kieran Darcy (1:24 PM)
Well, let's see -- the Scarlet Knights are currently 4-3, heading into an interesting game vs. LSU at the RAC on Saturday night. I see them most likely having eight wins heading into Big East play -- that would mean they'd have to go at least 7-11 in conference play to get to 15 wins. Taking a quick glance at their Big East schedule -- yes, I think Rutgers will win at least 15, maybe a couple more.
Craig (New York)
What's the latest on Amir Garrett? When will we find out his eligibility? they said the first game he could play would be 12/21, so we should find out soon, no?
Kieran Darcy (1:31 PM)
The latest on Amir Garrett is that he continues to indicate via Twitter that he plans to join St. John's for the second semester -- and St. John's of course cannont comment on him, since his recruitment is technically open again. We don't have a firm date on when we'll find out about him -- but he would be eligible to begin practice on Dec. 19, and to suit up starting with the game vs. Texas Pan-American at Carnesecca on Dec. 21. And boy, could St. John's use him -- if for no other reason than to just have an eight-man rotation, as opposed to seven.
Do you think st.johns will be better off staying in the zone or should they mix in some man?
Kieran Darcy (1:36 PM)
From what I've seen so far, they look more comfortable in man-to-man -- the problem is, they only have seven players, and that tires them out more easily. Also, if you're going to ultimately play the matchup zone, it takes time to implement and for the players to learn it, so you're ultimately putting the growing pains off if you revert back to man-to-man all the time. It took last year's team a while to look comfortable in the zone, but once they got it, they really flourished in it. Then again, they had a much deeper bench. I think tomorrow night's game is one in which you'll probably see a fair amount of man-to-man -- Kentucky is no team to experiement against.
Elliott (Shelton, Ct)
What do you like about this year's Fordham hoops team? They are very young and had to claw there way back to beat Colgate last night. They have a pretty good Lehigh team coming in tomorrow night. Can they win 10-12 games? A-10 is tough.
Kieran Darcy (1:45 PM)
I haven't seen them in person yet, but I expect them to be improved in Year 2 under Tom Pecora. They have some young talent, but yes, the A-10 is tough and they have some pretty tough nonconference games coming up as well -- St. John's, Georgia Tech, and a very good Harvard team. Double figure wins would be nice, but it will be a challenge. After three straight years in the Atlantic 10 cellar, it would be an achievement just to get out of there.
Are there any big men anywhere that could come in for the second semester and give 15 min/game? I worry about gift and harkless wearing down in the BEast.
Kieran Darcy (1:47 PM)
There are no big men on the radar for the second semester for St. John's -- Norvel Pelle and JaKarr Sampson have de-committed, Amir Garrett is the only possibility and he's a wing player. Gift and Harkless are gonna just have to do the best they can -- it's going to be a heck of a challenge. But at least they will gain great experience from it.
Gregory (new jersey)
who do you think will win the national championship this year inbasketball? Uconn,Duke,Kansas or North Carolina
Kieran Darcy (1:55 PM)
It's a little early! Of those four, I think North Carolina has the best shot. Highly doubt Kansas, and Duke got steamrolled by Ohio State last night. UConn -- we know they're capable, especially if Andre Drummond blossoms quickly. But early on, in terms of flat-out talent, I don't think anybody tops Kentucky -- which makes for a fascinating game against St. John's tomorrow night. Can't wait to get to Rupp Arena -- I'll talk to you guys from there tomorrow!