Chat with Kieran Darcy
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPNNewYork.com staff writer Kieran Darcy stops by to chat about the New York college sports scene.
As a staff writer for ESPNNewYork.com, Darcy covers the New York sports scene, college sports in particular. He joined ESPN in August of 2000, after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball for the Quakers. He also used to contribute to ESPN.com's Page 2.
Send your questions now and join Darcy Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Kieran Darcy (2:01 PM)
Hey everyone! The rain is pouring out of the heavens here in NYC, but I can't wait to get out to Carnesecca Arena in Queens for St. John's vs. Wagner tonight. First game for St. John's since winning the Great Alaska Shootout. And I spent yesterday afternoon with the Hurley brothers -- Dan and Bobby -- who have taken over at Wagner. Story will be posted shortly on ESPNNewYork.com
Do you see this year's Red Storm making the Big Dance, or do you think we'll have to wait at least one more year before they enter that discussion?
Kieran Darcy (2:04 PM)
Greg, it's very early, but my best guess is St. John's will be right square on the bubble come March. I think they will have a better record than last year -- both overall and in the Big East -- and it might come down to winning a game or two in the Big East Tournament, to impress the selection committee late. But I think they will be in play for a bid most, if not all, season long.
Rich (Point Pleasant, N.J.)
Any thoughts about which area schools might have a good season and could have a good run in the NCAA Tournament?
Kieran Darcy (2:10 PM)
Well in the Big East, besides St. John's, I also think Seton Hall has a shot to be on the bubble and perhaps make the NCAA Tournament -- but that will ride on getting leading scorer Jeremy Hazell back from his wrist injury. Beyond that -- you've got a couple of local teams in the MAAC who have a shot -- St. Peter's in Jersey City ws picked to finish third in the conference, and Iona fourth, but I think both could win the conference. Also, Stony Brook won the America East regular season title last season, but got upset in the conference tournament -- they could have similar success this season, and make the Big Dance if they can survive the conference tourney.
Kiernan,Great work!Has there been any talk of Paris Horne starting over Dwight Hardy? I know Hardy played well in the second half against ASU, but he's struggled other then that, while Horne gives you a more well-rounded game.
Kieran Darcy (2:14 PM)
Thanks Michael. I think it's too early for Lavin to shake up the starting lineup at this point. But you're right, Hardy has struggled with hit shot -- he's just 14-for-49 from the field, that's 28.6 percent. And Horne was a starter last season, and has given them some nice production off the bench. But Lavin said in the preseason Hardy is as good a shooter as he's ever coached -- even comparing him to Jason Kapono. If he really feels that way, he's not going to pull the plug on Hardy, and wreck his confidence, this early.
Jack (Jamaica, NY)
Is Malik Stith for real and do you think he will eventually overtake Boothe as the starting point guard?
Kieran Darcy (2:18 PM)
I've got to admit, I've been impressed by Stith -- he's the fourth-leading scorer on the team right now, at 8.2 ppg, and has hit double-figures in three out of five games. But no, I don't see him replacing Boothe in the starting five -- Stith isn't really a true point guard. Boothe looks to dish first -- 4.2 apg -- and I think Lavin also likes Boothe's intensity at the other end of the floor -- plus his senior leadership.
Bill (New york)
How good is St. John's? They have a lot of depth but I fear they just don't have enough star power or good enough shooting. Your thoughts?
Kieran Darcy (2:21 PM)
Like I said earlier, I think this St. John's team is, to put it simply, a bubble team for the NCAA Tournament -- but that's progress, coming off last season. In terms of shooting, I think they absolutely need more production from Hardy. In terms of star power -- yeah, they don't have a lot right now -- although D.J. Kennedy is a future pro, and I think he needs to be a little more aggressive looking to score.
J (ny, ny)
How long before the excitement around sju basketball translates into fans showing up at msg? Will it take a tourney run? do you see sju making the tourney this year? Will 9-9 in conference be enough?btw, you cover nyc college hoops better than anyone around. thank you.
Kieran Darcy (2:23 PM)
I really appreciate that J, thank you! We'll see how many fans turn out at MSG this season -- St. John's hasn't played at the Garden yet this year. But the crowds at Carnesecca haven't been all the impressive for the exhibition game against Westmont and the home opener against Columbia -- we'll see what the crowd's like tonight. I know these aren't huge games, and everyone is looking forward to next year with all the recruits coming in -- but it'd be nice to see the team get some more support this year.
myles kennefick (ny)
what, if any, effect do you see TCU joining the big east having on St Johns?
Kieran Darcy (2:26 PM)
Very little effect on St. John's -- much bigger effect on Rutgers. St. John's doesn't play football, so all they're worried about is basketball -- and TCU isn't a historically strong basketball program. But, even though Rutgers AD Tim Pernetti told me he's very happy with the addition of TCU, I've got to believe there's at least a tinge of mixed feelings there. Rutgers has been desperately trying to win its first Big East football championship, they're going through a down year this year, and that goal just got a lot tougher with TCU coming into the league.
tjc Corbs (Kolby, NC)
I predicted that the Hurley's going to Wagner was going to cause some real tidal waves in NE Corridor recruiting, what do you think?
Kieran Darcy (2:30 PM)
It's going to be really interesting to watch how this plays out over the next few years, because there are so many new local coaches in the area, and they're all going to be competing against one another -- the cream will rise to the top. And the Hurleys have at least one thing going for them -- star power. Even though Bobby Hurley admitted to me yesterday that the players they're recruiting at Wagner generally have no idea about his background and his playing career (can you believe that?), the players' parents and their coaches do -- and that's going to be a big help. Plus, the Hurley name continues to get more and more prominent, as their father was just inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in August.
Huck Palmer (Fishtown, PA)
Any thoughts on the Wagner St. John's game tonight? My nemesis insists that Wagner will take over the northeast corridor basketball recruiting in the coming years, and I say it's hogwash.
Kieran Darcy (2:33 PM)
I think it's actually going to be a very interesting game -- I doubt it will be a blowout. St. John's won the Alaska Shootout, yes -- but there is the potential for a letdown, after winning a tourney like that. Wagner was picked to finish 10th in the NEC, but is 3-2 on the season, with wins over quality mid-majors Lafayette, Stony Brook and Bucknell. Bob Hurley Sr. told me over the phone this morning that he has been very impressed with how much progress his sons have made with this team in just five games.
does lavin have the other BE coaches scared for the future? honestly...
Kieran Darcy (2:37 PM)
Scared? I wouldn't say scared. To become a head coach in the Big East, you're already very accomplished, and undoubtedly have a lot of confidence in yourself and your ability to compete. But I would definitely say the rest of the Big East is on notice -- there's no question St. John's is going to be a much bigger factor, in recruiting and on the court, in the next few years.
Kieran Darcy (2:40 PM)
Alright folks, I've gotta run to get ready for tonight's game. Thanks for all the questions, and we'll do this again soon! Look for my story on the Hurley brothers and Wagner any minute on ESPNNewYork.com -- and I'll also be filing a story about tonight's game later on. Thanks!
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