St. John’s shows Posh Alexander how much has changed in convincing win over Butler
Posh Alexander returned home Tuesday night and saw how much things have changed.
New St. Johns players, new coach and a team that hardly resembled his former one.
Alexander, St. Johns three-year starting point guard who transferred to Butler following the coaching change from Mike Anderson to Rick Pitino, received a warm greeting from the Red Storm fans.
The Johnnies players werent as kind.
They shut down the Brooklyn native after halftime and overwhelmed Butler as St. Johns continued to show progress under Pitino.
Daniss Jenkins, not Alexander, was the best point guard on the floor, leading the Johnnies to a commanding 86-70 victory inside Carnesecca Arena.
At the end of the day, all I care about is winning, said Jenkins, playing down the one-on-one matchup. I was glad they gave him an ovation. He did a lot for this program, put in a lot of hard work. But I just wanted to get the wi. Thats all that mattered to me, coming out with a big win.
4Joel Soriano drunks the ball during St. John’s win over Butler on Tuesday. Corey Sipkinfor the NY POSTJenkins is coming on of late, cutting down on his turnovers and improving his efficiency.
Against Butler, he had 17 points, seven assists, five rebounds, two steals and just one turnover in 34 minutes.
Over the last six games, he has 40 assists and eight turnovers, a five-to-one ratio.
Its not a coincidence that St. Johns has begun to turn it on during that span, playing more like the team many expected to see.
Hes a helluva basketball player. Im going to miss the s–t out of him when he leaves, Pitino said.
Thi, however, was not a one-man show. St. Johns (10-4, 2-1) held Butler to 32.3 percent shooting in the second half and had six players score in double figures.
4Coach Rick Pitino and St. John’s picked up their second Big East win of the season. Corey Sipkinfor the NY POSTJoel Soriano (12 rebounds) and RJ Luis each had 14 points and freshman sharpshooter Brady Dunlap scored a career-high 13 after failing to log a single minute in the previous four games.
Questionable with a sprained ankle, Chris Ledlum notched a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds, helping St. Johns win the battle on the glass by 11, outscore Butler by 16 in second-chance points and hammer them in the paint, 40-26.
I thought Ledlum deserved a lot of credit. Hes only about 70 percent back and he said, Ill play through it, coach, Pitino said of the senior forward, who was a team-best, plus-16 in 31 minutes. Our trainers did a great job in getting him ready. He gutted it out and we needed that.
4St. John’s guard Daniss Jenkins shoots over Butler forward Jalen Thomas during the second half at Carnesecca Arena. Corey Sipkinfor the NY POSTAlexander scored all 11 of his points in the first half and shot 5-for-12 from the field along with three turnovers. DJ Davis led Butler with 25 points.
The Bulldogs leading scorers, Pierre Brooks and Jahmyl Telfort, were held to a combined 20 points on 5 of 20 shooting.
It was an entertaining first 20 minutes that the Johnnies mostly controlled.
They led by as many as eight and never trailed.
The big surprise was Dunlap, who entered the game with 18 points on the season and scored 10 in the first half, giving the Johnnies a needed boost.
4Former St. John’s guard drives to the basket against his former team on Tuesday. Corey Sipkinfor the NY POSTHe looked more confident than he had been all season.
Dunlap had performed well in practice, and Pitino rewarded him.
My dad has been a college coach his whole life and Ive kind of grown up watching his players go through their processes, the wing from Newhall, Calif. said. Its been a dream of mine since I was shooting on the mini-hoop in like first grade in my house to come out and play college basketball at the highest level and perform.
“When Im out there and I hit a couple of shots, its just a dream come true for me, and Im just thankful that Coach Pitino gave me the opportunity today.
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