NEW YORK — St. John’s coach Steve Lavin freely admits that the 2010-11 college basketball season was fourth on his list of priorities when he accepted the job in March.
Because he was taking over a team with nine seniors and no commits for 2010, Lavin had to prioritize recruiting and hiring a staff ahead of the games themselves.
“When I first took over the focus was on picking up one or two recruits in that 2010 class because we were so far behind in getting hired so late,” Lavin said recently. “We were fortunate to get Dwayne Polee.
“Then the focus went to the staff, trying to secure a first-rate staff. Then it turned to 2011 recruiting and then it’s turned to the 2010-11 season.”
NEW YORK — A dejected Amar’e Stoudemire was in a state of disbelief following the Knicks 104-96 loss to the Houston Rockets Sunday night at Madison Square Garden.
“It’s a foreign land for me right now,” said Stoudemire, whose team has dropped five straight to fall to 3-7 and is about to embark on a brutal four-game Western swing.
His eight years in Phoenix could not have prepared him for this. After signing on with the Knicks during the summer for five years and $100 million, he vowed, “The Knicks are back.”
But now he’s openly questioning the team’s will to win after Kevin Martin and Luis Scola combined to score 52 points for the Rockets and the Knicks shot 3 of 16 from beyond the arc.
“I’m not sure if it’s the fact of maybe a winning mentality has never been here,” said Stoudemire, who scored 25 points on 10 of 19 shooting. “I’m used to winning. I’m used to talking about winning and having that confidence toward winning.
DaJuan Coleman lives only about five minutes from the Syracuse campus, so it’s not surprising that he’s been to three games already this young season.
Coleman attended Syracuse’s 86-67 win over Canisius Sunday after hitting the home-opener against Northern Iowa and the exhibition against Le Moyne.
“It was pretty good,” Coleman said of the Canisius game. “They pulled away from them at the end.”
The 6-foot-10, 280-pound Coleman is the No. 3 center in the Class of 2012, per Rivals.
NEW YORK -- Knicks president Donnie Walsh
By Mike Vorkunov
NEWARK, N.J. — Jordan Theodore put the burden of Friday night’s loss to Temple on himself. The lack of fluidity on offense, the bad decisions, and the poor shots. The 46 points that Seton Hall barely scratched out. That was all on him.
So he came out Sunday and made amends. In leading the Pirates to a 92-68 victory over Cornell, Theodore played like a point guard possessed. He scored 10 points, grabbed seven rebounds and handed out seven assists.
By Alex Kline and Adam Zagoria
**Moussa Kone, a 6-foot-7, 209-pound wing from Frederick Douglass Academy III and the MetroHawks AAU program, verbally committed to Hofstra over Manhattan, ST. Peter’s and UMBC.
“I loved the school,” Kone, who averaged 14 points and 11 boards last season said by text. “I feel that the coaching staff can better my skills to become an even better player.”
**Eugene McCrory, a postgrad forward from CJEOTO, took an official to Hofstra this weekend.
**Despite rumors he would open up his recruitment, 6-7 wing LaQuinton Ross of Burlington (N.J.) Life Center signed with Ohio State Sunday.
**Syracuse-area junior big man DaJuan Coleman is at Sunday’s Canisius-Syracuse game, according to his AAU coach, Jim Hart. Coleman also attended the Northern Iowa-Syracuse game.
(pictured), the No. 1 point guard in the Class of 2012 out St. Anthony (N.J), visited UCLA this weekend and had a great time.
One thing is abundantly clear after the first full slate of college hoops games was played Friday…
There are some really good freshmen across America.
Catch these youngsters while you can because some of them will be on the 2011 NBA Draft board.
**Harrison Barnes, the first freshman named preseason AP All–America team since 1986-87, put up 14 points and 4 rebounds in North Carolina’s win over Lipscomb…
**With Enes Kanter having been ruled ineligible by the NCAA, Kentucky freshman Terrence Jones took control for the Wildcats.