Some quick impressions after Saint Mary's 76-71 win against St. John's:
Not that we didn’t know this before, but Dwayne Polee II is really athletic. He showed off his great leaping ability with a breakaway dunk in the first half, revealing why it was really a coup when Steve Lavin got him to come to St. John’s in his first recruiting class.
Saint Mary’s doesn’t have Omar Samhan anymore, but appears to have enough frontcourt depth to get by. The Gaels started transfers Rob Jones and Kenton Walker II, rotating in Mitchell Young and Tim Williams when Jones got into foul trouble. Williams came up big down the stretch.
Clint Steindl brought Saint Mary’s back with huge 3-pointers in the second half. At 6-foot-7, he likes to camp out beyond the arc to set himself up for the shot. The Australian is as fundamentally sound as they come and one of the reasons the Gaels will be fine going forward.
Lavin coached his first regular-season game in seven years, and what happens? He picked up a technical foul for complaining a little too hard to the referee. Give him credit though for taking on the challenge and playing in a tough road environment.
Stephen Holt is an impressive freshman for St. Mary’s. He started, and you can see that he has a good feel for the game even as a young player. Look for the Gaels to use plenty of three-guard sets with Holt, Mickey McConnell and Matthew Dellavedova.