Johnnies Not Going Into Kentucky On a Roll | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / September 25.
  • Johnnies Not Going Into Kentucky On a Roll

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    St. John’s isn’t exactly going into Kentucky on a roll.

    The Johnnies lost to Northeastern of the CAA, 78-64, Saturday afternoon at Carnesecca Arena and have now lost three of four heading into Thursday’s SEC/Big East Challenge game at Rupp Arena.

    “Everybody knows that this is a new team and we’re still a work in process,” Johnnies forward God’sgift Achiuwa said. “We learn every day, and as Coach Lavin and Coach Dunlap emphasize, we’re going to face different opponents. What we need to do is learn every day, and become better players.”

    Steve Lavin missed the game as he recovers from prostate cancer surgery, and Mike Dunlap coached the team in his absence.

    St. John’s (4-3) continues to play with just eight scholarship players — including one former walk-on — after three players were declared academically ineligible in September. They are hoping to get 6-7 wing Amir Garrett eligible for the second semester in December.

    No. 2 Kentucky (6-0), meanwhile, remained undefeaed after routing Portland, 87-63, behind 19 points apiece from Darius Miller and Terrence Jones.

    Anthony Davis added 13 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks.

    One of the key storylines to come out of that game was that Miller, the senior, could soon replace freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the former Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick star, in the starting lineup. It’s possible Miller could start against St. John’s.

    Michael Gilchrist¬†came into me and said if I need to come in off the bench for Darius, I will. I have absolutely no problem,” said Kentucky coach¬†John Calipari.

    Miller said his role doesn’t matter.

    “I’m not really worried about coming off the bench or starting or whatever,” Miller said. “We don’t have time to worry about that. We’ve got a lot of things we need to correct before we try to make a run at a national championship.”

    (The AP contributed)

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.