The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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If there is one thing that St. John’s basketball fans have gotten used to over the past few years, it’s losing.

But if there was a second thing that the Johnnie faithful have become accustomed to, it’s transfers.

When Avery Patterson transferred after the 2006-07 season, I, along with many other Red Storm fans, was upset.

As Patterson walked out the door of Carnesecca Arena for the last time, with him went his 72 three-pointers.

After Larry Wright transferred at the end of the 2007-08 campaign, I, along with many Red Storm fans, was downright angry.

Wright’s exit at the end of a season in which the Storm failed to qualify for the Big East Tournament seemed like an extra slap in our red-and-white painted faces.

Although the script is the same at the end of this season, my emotions, and
assumedly the emotions of my fellow fans, are the complete opposite.

The news of freshman guard TyShwan Edmonson’s transfer did not fill me with the despair or fury I’m so used to feeling after the break of a big Red Storm story. It instead filled me with a far less familiar sensation: hope.

I don’t mean to bash Edmonson, whose average of 1.7 points and 1.0 rebound a game does not even come close to illustrating the guard’s importance to his team (especially during the stint early in the year when the Storm were forced to play without their starting point guard Malik Boothe).

Edmonson did what was asked of him as a freshman, and though his motives for transferring are still unknown, he played hard for Norm Roberts in 2008-09.

But Edmonson’s exit is a good sign. As he takes his final walk out the doors of Carnesecca, the Storm will gain more than they have lost. His transfer means that the Red Storm is graced one scholarship to give out next season.

And, for the first time in a long time, I believe that they may be giving it to the guy that all those Storm fans and I really hope they get to give it to.

If you would have asked me a month ago if Lincoln High School star Lance Stephenson-a kid that could mean immeasurable things for this program-would still be playing in New York City next season, my answer would’ve been (and was) a very short one.

“No,” I was saying. “I wish he would, but no.”

But after John Calipari’s move to Kentucky, the drama over whether the No. 1 national prospect, Xavier Henry, will answer Bill Self’s calls and be suited up for Kansas next year, and now the news of Edmonson’s transfer, my answer has changed.

It’s still short.

“Maybe,” I’m now saying. “I think the signs point to yes.”

Why is Lance Stephenson so important? He won’t turn the Red Storm into a Final Four team next season and, in all likelihood, he won’t even transform them into Big East Champions.

But what he will do is bring some much-needed attention to this dying program. Finally, the press will
be good press. Well, maybe good press.

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