Friday, April 27, 2012
Three-Point Schott: St. John's Notebook
D.J. Kennedy's NBA debut is one of many things making headlines around St. John's University. (Photo courtesy of Rumble In The Garden)
It gives me great pleasure to introduce the newest member of the Daly Dose family in this piece, and that is Jason Schott. Jason covers St. John's basketball and a variety of other local teams for BrooklynFans.com, and just spent his first season covering the Red Storm this past year. A talented writer and dynamic personality who is also a proud member of Madison Square Garden's "Row C Dream Team," Jason will offer his views and recaps on college basketball here as well in a column fittingly titled the "Three-Point Schott," and he can also be found on Twitter at @JESchott19.
By Jason Schott - St. John’s beat writer – Twitter @JESchott19
This is a digest of recent news from the St. John’s Red Storm Men’s basketball team, including news on Head Coach Steve Lavin, D.J. Kennedy, and Moe Harkless.
St. John’s Head Coach Steve Lavin will deliver the Commencement Address this year at St. John’s Queens and Staten Island campuses.
The Staten Island graduation will be on Saturday, May 12th, and the Queens graduation will be the next day, Sunday, May 13th. Also being honored at the Queens event will be the Very Rev. Perry Henry, C.M., D.Min., William Collins (‘76C) and Patricia Ann Norris McDonald.
Lavin battled prostate cancer all year and had surgery on October 6th. Lavin only coached four games this season due to the recuperation, and he is now cancer free.
Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M., the President of St. John’s University, said of Lavin, “Steve Lavin has a great affinity with our student body and is a popular choice for this year’s commencement ceremonies.”
D.J. Kennedy, a leader of the 2011 NCAA Tournament team, was signed by the Cleveland Cavaliers for the remainder of their season on April 21st.
Kennedy was a key part of that 2011 team, one of many seniors that graduated that year. His season was cut short by a knee injury suffered in that year’s Big East Tournament.
Kennedy had to have knee surgery, and battled back from it to play in the NBA’s Development League for the Erie BayHawks, where he put up big numbers. In 44 regular season games for Erie, Kennedy averaged 15.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 4.4 assists in 37.4 minutes per game.
“I am thankful to the Cavaliers for giving me the chance to pursue my NBA dream. This is an incredible opportunity and I want to thank my family, friends, and fans for sticking with me throughout my career and my comeback from injury,” said Kennedy.
St. John’s Head Coach Steve Lavin said of Kennedy, “We are pleased D.J. will now realize his dream of playing in the NBA. D.J. and his teammates helped springboard the Johnnies back to national prominence.”
Kennedy said of Lavin, “Special shoutout to Coach Lavin and all of my coaches at St. John’s for believing in me and preparing me to help my dream come true. I am very blessed.”
In his time at St. John’s, Kennedy ranks high in many categories, including being 12th on the all-time scoring list with 1.504 career points. He also is 11th on the all-time rebounding list with 781, the fifth most 3-pointers with 122, and his 183 steals ranks sixth in St. John’s history.
Moe Harkless was honored by the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association (MBWA) as their 2012 Rookie of the Year. This is the latest honor for Harkless, who was named the Big East Conference Rookie of the Year in March.
Harkless declared his intention to enter the NBA Draft at a press conference on March 19th. He has been training in Florida at the IMG Academy, along with St. John’ alumnus Anthony Mason, Jr.
Harkless said, “Coach Lavin and the entire coaching staff have been really supportive and they’ve helped me out a lot. Coach Mike Dunlap and coach Rico Hines are two coaches who have NBA experience and they worked really hard to help me get better. Everyone was a huge help.”
Harkless will be the 14th player who played under Lavin to be selected in the NBA Draft. He said of D.J. Kennedy, who played under Lavin in 2010-11, “I’m really happy for D.J. getting called up and having a chance to compete on an NBA roster. I’ll be excited to join him and potentially some other Johnnies in the league.”
Also honored by the MBWA was D’Angelo Harrison, who also had a superb freshman season for St. John’s. Harrison was named to their second team as voted on by a panel of New York area basketball media.
The honors were presented on Thursday, April 26th at the 79th NIT/MBWA All-Met Haggerty Awards dinner at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown, NY.