Give Norm Roberts credit.
St. John’s had entered last night’s tilt with Cornell ranked 4th in the RPI and had only one loss on the season to Duke.
But the smart red team beat the other not-so-smart red team 71-66 at Madison Square Garden to win the Holiday Festival.
And then coach spoke in classic coach hyperbole.
“That team right there, when they’re hot, they can beat anybody,” Roberts said about Cornell.
Woah. Slow down there Normy. You think an Ivy League team can defeatanyone as long as they’re stroking from the outside?
“Maybe not Kansas or those guys. But they could win a game in the tournament.”
Ok. That’s a little better. So, just to clarify coach, Cornell could possiblywin one game in the NCAA tournament, say knock off UTEP in a 7-10 game, if the Big Red shoots 70% from the field.
Yeah, I guess I would go out on that ledge too.
Guess it’s easy to poke fun at Normy, who has tried for years to cut into SU’s New York dominance on the recruiting trail and in the Big East, since the Orange throttled Cornell 88-73.
The Johnnies are not the red-shirted stepchild of the conference anymore. D.J. Kennedy can be a tough matchup and Malik Boothe is a gritty New York City guard who Roberts was able to lure to Queens.
But baby steps for St. John’s. It’s still only ranked #72 in the kenpom.com ratings (Syracuse is #4), with quality wins over just Temple and Siena so far.
Good effort Normy. But let’s remain rooted in reality. You just lost to an Ivy League school. At home. And no, they can’t beat anyone.