"I'm standing in Brooklyn just waiting for something to happen.I can't help but look thinking that everyone doesn't get it."- Fun., One Foot
Game #9-151: Stony Brook at Saint Francis (NY) TerriersDecember 11, 2012 7:00 pm
Physical Ed. Center
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Would you believe I heard that song for the first time on the train heading down to New York City on Tuesday afternoon?
I made the point last time I went to see St. Francis Brooklyn
(that's what it wants to be called these days, and I have no problem with it) play that the Pope Physical Education
Center - home of the Terriers - was only a little more than a mile from the brand spanking new Barclays Center, yet they live in very different worlds.
Tuesday I decided to see for myself. Normally, I get off the Brooklyn Bridge subway stop and walk across the Bridge, because, well, it's pretty awesome.
But on this day, I wanted to put Google Maps
to the test and took the subway past St. Francis and to Atlantic Ave., home of the Barclays Center.
Even at 5 p.m., there were lights, cameras, a band was playing, scantily clad Nike cheerleaders were dancing in 45-degree December temperature. It really was some spectacle (and I hope to be back next weekend when there are a few games that we care about inside).
I turned to a man and asked if the Nets were home tonight, and got perhaps the most condescending look since Ed Rooney walked into a Chicago pizzeria
in the mid 1980s.
"Nets-Knicks tonight, man."
I wasn't embarrassed for not knowing. I took it as a source of pride, actually. Although it did explain this:
The Brooklyn streets, especially this time of year, are much different than their counterparts in Manhattan. Still plenty of Christmas shoppers
, but virtually no tourists, just locals looking for a deal. About a half hour later, I was in front of Borough Hall, grabbing a sandwich at the deli, and walked on down to still inconspicuous St. Francis College on Remsen St.
The Campus Ministry/ticket office was still empty, but I decided to get a ticket before going into the gym this time, mildly afraid that their opponent - semi-local Stony Brook - might bring some people and the 1,200-seat Pope Center may get full quickly.
That didn't happen, but I was able to secure Ticket number 0001 for the contest, signifying really nothing except my own insanity, perhaps.
Enough gushing about St. Francis, although there is no truth to the rumor that I fed this to the New York Times
under an assumed name, even if I agree wholeheartedly with every word.
The Terriers had their work cut out Tuesday night against Stony Brook, one poor shooting performance away from its first NCAA Tournament last season, and apparently looking to make amends this season. The Seawolves were 6-2 coming in, including a now impressive win over one-loss Canisius, and a defeat to UConn in which they led for much of the contest.
But the Pope Center can be a little disconcerting for visitors. Somehow Stony Brook and St. Francis (both members of the hypothetical Green Apple conference
) hadn't met since 1999, and Kevin Douglas' #omgdunx
off a missed Stony Brook free throw midway through the first half gave the Terriers a 15-14 lead, and made Associate Head Coach Jay Young seethe.
I'm an offense guy for the most part, myself, but I can still appreciate the other side of the game. The top three teams in America East this season (Stony Brook, Vermont, Albany) all play fantastic defense, most of it man-to-man. Sitting close to the action, you could start to see why. Young seemed to know most of the St. Francis sets just as well as they did, and jumped several cuts over the course of the evening.
Even though this was a low profile non-conference game, Stony Brook obviously had a detailed scouting report on strengths and weaknesses on each player. At one point, Dave Coley - who was assigned to shut down SFC shooter Ben Mockford - got confused when Mockford departed for little used sophomore P.J. Santavenere, screaming at Young in the middle of a St. Francis possession: "Is he a shooter? Is he a shooter?" When point guard Brent Jones went off for four points in a minute, Young quickly reminded the guy who was defending Jones, Anthony Johnson, what the deal was: "A.J., A.J. C'mon, man, he's averaging three points per game and you're making him look like a scorer."
The Seawolves not only buckled down, but got an offensive show from Brooklyn native Coley, who scored nine points in the final six minutes of the half, including a #superhoop
at the buzzer, as Stony Brook took a healthy 40-24 lead at the break.
At halftime, I thought about all the people at the Barclays Center who "didn't get it", and could be sitting this close to good college action for virtually peanuts. Of course, eve at the scorers' bench at the Pope Center, one eye seemed to be down the street.
I spent the first half sitting next to a woman named Carol, whom I figured had to be in her seventies or so (although I'm awful at guesstimating ages). She had a mismatched scarf and sweater, complete with a plaid winter hat. Yet she stayed intent on the action for every possession, cheering when St. Francis did something well and shaking her head when things started to go wrong. When the action went away from her, she would put her hands around her eyes as if she had imaginary binoculars on them.
Was she related to a player or coach?
At halftime, she put the hat on and grabbed her cane, and I wondered where she was headed. My ignorance meter was apparently on very high.
"Leaving already?," I asked.
"Do you see the score? Besides it's been a long day. I've been here all day and it's time to go home."
"Do you work here?"
"No, I'm a student here. I graduated in 2011, but I like to come back and take some classes. I'm hoping they add a fine arts department soon."
I wasn't doing a very good job hiding my surprise, so she continued.
"I actually lived in Cincinnati and went to Xavier in the early sixties. I moved here then, and started taking classes every once in a while, and it took me a long time, but I finally got enough credits that they gave me a degree."
I mentioned how I changed careers a couple of times, and she made my day by saying, "You're still young. You have plenty of time to do what you want."
I tried, again unsuccessfully, to explain the Mid-majority concept to someone, but I got a good response anyway.
"We do what we can here at St. Francis. That's all we can do."
By now, the second half was starting, and the Terriers showed some life, scoring the first seven points, leading to a Stony Brook time out and head coach Steve Pikiell to take the mantle from his assistant Young.
"You're going to let them score that fucking easily," Pikiell said. "They didn't score the whole first half, and you're going to come out of the locker room and let them just do whatever the fuck they want. Let's go."
And, really, that seemed to be enough. Stony Brook never truly pulled away, but the lead never got below nine for a fairly comfortable road victory with St. Francis shooting just 24-for-61 (4-for-19 from #superhoop
land) on its home floor.
The Terriers fell to 2-6 with conference play coming soon. The Terriers' best player - Jalen Cannon - ended up with a decent stat line: 14 points and eight rebounds, but to me that didn't tell the whole story.
Cannon came out of the locker room shaking his head at halftime, and proceeded to get beat for a couple of loose balls, enough to find his way to Glenn Braica's bench less than 90 seconds into the second half. He continued to shake his head after taking a long walk to the end of the court.
To be fair, when he went back in, Cannon looked like himself. But by then, it was probably too late for his squad to mount a comeback, which again, in fairness, was probably a long shot anyway.
But Cannon is an interesting test case in Our Game. Last season, he was a role-playing freshman on a team that did surprisingly well, and now he's a sophomore on a squad with some expectations, expected to lead the way. His stats (16 pts, 9.5 rebs per game) say he's doing fine, but can he lead his team toward the top of the NEC standings? A lot of pressure on a young man, but that's what we want, isn't it? To push ourselves to the limit to see who succeeds and who doesn't? (In a basketball sense, of course.) That question will be answered on many fronts in the coming months, and some will push through into names we recognize in March. Most will just fade away.
I didn't want to get caught in subway traffic coming from the Barclays Center, so I departed rather quickly, at Grand Central Staton in plenty of time - for once - for the next New Haven-bound train.
Wednesday morning, I read that the Knicks had beaten the Nets 100-97 before a sell-out crowd down the street. It was Game 21 and 20, respectively, for the teams in an 82-game regular season that will likely end in both of them making the playoffs sometime in April. The Nets PR department said there were 12 different newspapers (there are still 12 newspapers left?) covering the game and several hundred media members in total.
Is it me who doesn't "get it"?
Had you going there for a second, didn't I? STONY BROOK 77, at SAINT FRANCIS (NY) 61
STONY BROOK 7-2 (0-0) -- D. Coley 5-9 7-8 19; J. Warney 6-8 1-4 13; A. Jackson 5-9 4-4 15; T. Brenton 1-4 2-4 4; M. Rouse 2-6 4-4 9; E. McAlister 2-4 0-0 4; R. Bracey 2-7 5-6 9; C. Puriefoy 2-4 0-0 4; A. Mayo 0-0 0-0 0; S. King 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-52 23-30 77.
SAINT FRANCIS (NY) 2-6 (0-0) -- B. Mockford 2-4 0-0 5; J. Cannon 6-9 2-2 14; A. Johnson 4-14 3-5 11; B. Jones 4-11 0-0 9; K. Douglas 6-10 0-0 14; D. Calloway 1-3 4-6 6; A. White 0-1 0-0 0; M. Milk 0-1 0-0 0; A. Isailovic 1-4 0-1 2; T. Nichols 0-3 0-0 0; P. Santavenere 0-0 0-0 0; L. Ulmer 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-61 9-14 61.
Three-point goals: SB 4-12 (T. Brenton 0-1; M. Rouse 1-3; A. Jackson 1-2; D. Coley 2-2; R. Bracey 0-2; S. King 0-1; C. Puriefoy 0-1), SFNY 4-19 (B. Mockford 1-3; D. Calloway 0-1; T. Nichols 0-3; B. Jones 1-3; J. Cannon 0-1; K. Douglas 2-5; A. Isailovic 0-2; A. White 0-1); Rebounds: SB 34 (J. Warney 9), SFNY 25 (J. Cannon 8); Assists: SB 11 (T. Brenton 5), SFNY 10 (B. Jones 5); Total Fouls -- SB 15, SFNY 22; Fouled Out: SB-None; SFNY-None.