You know how they say “add insult to injury,” well that could well sum up St. John’s 79-73 loss to Syracuse at Madison Square Garden in the Big East Tournament. Senior D.J. Kennedy’s torn ACL during the first half sent him to the Garden floor in pain, and his look of anguish and despair certainly encapsulated what Red Storm players and their fans were feeling after today’s disappointing loss.
What could have happened in this game if they did not lose Kennedy early on? We’ll never know, but Kennedy’s lost for the season and that is not a good thing for the Johnnies and their morale. Plus, Kennedy’s loss (and the loss to Syracuse) is a blow to their NCAA standing for the rest of the way, but that may not matter much with Kennedy gone.
After the game the forward’s teammates learned that Kennedy had a complete ACL tear, which means a long road toward recovery for him. That’s the kind of thing coach Steve Lavin’s guys didn’t want to hear, but it could be a rallying point for them too in the weeks ahead.
Sean Evans (11 points), who replaced Kennedy, said after the game that he was going to “play hard” for Kennedy. The rest of his mates while a bit stunned about what happened seemed to have the same feeling, with Dwight Hardy (22 points) saying, “We’re going to play hard as we can for him.”
Steve Lavin may have to use the old ”Win one for the Gipper” kind of pep talk for the Johnnies, but for now they are going to have to watch Syracuse take on UConn this Friday night. While this promises to be a great game, the hometown fans are understandably disappointed and, with Kennedy out, the road is going to be pretty bumpy for SJU the rest of the way.
Photo Credit: Simmons/Daily News