Home US SportsNCAAB St. Peter’s drips New Jersey attitude, grit

St. Peter’s drips New Jersey attitude, grit

St. Peter’s drips New Jersey attitude, grit

Quickly after Saint Peter’s 70-60 upset win over Murray State within the second spherical of the lads’s NCAA event Saturday, Peacocks head coach Shaheen Holloway smiled when requested concerning the potential worry of his workforce getting pushed round by larger opponents.

“I’ve acquired guys from New Jersey and New York Metropolis,” Holloway said after St. Peter’s newest victory. “You think we’re scared of anything? You think we’re worried about guys trying to muscle us and tough us out? We do that. That’s who we are.”

Holloway later explained this idea as something he picked up growing up in Queens, New York, and later while playing high school basketball in New Jersey, especially against Hall of Fame head coach Bob Hurley. Holloway’s Saint Patrick’s teams battled against Hurley’s squads in grueling matchups.

“Jersey basketball is grit,” Holloway instructed reporters Tuesday evening. “It’s hard-nosed basketball. I can remember coming to Jersey and Coach Hurley was, Saint Anthony’s was, a team that everybody was trying to be like, including us at St. Pat’s. This full-court, hard-nosed, man-to-man defense. No fouling calling, just go in there and play.”

Hurley, the daddy of Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley and UConn head coach Dan Hurley, received 30 state championships at St. Anthony’s from 1972-2017 and produced 150 Division I gamers and 6 first-round NBA draft picks.

Holloway says he adopted that mentality as a participant after which as coach, first as an assistant at Seton Hall after which at St. Peter’s. The 2021 squad that set the faculty basketball world on hearth isn’t huge, highly effective or extremely acclaimed, however the Peacocks epitomized the philosophy Holloway realized throughout his time enjoying and training within the Backyard State. They usually proved it within the Peacocks’ upset wins in opposition to Kentucky and Murray State.

“That’s what Jersey basketball is all about,” Holloway added. “Guys wanting to prove themselves.”

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – MARCH 19: Head coach Shaheen Holloway of the St. Peter’s Peacocks talks with Jaylen Murray #32 and Doug Edert #25 of the St. Peter’s Peacocks throughout a timeout in opposition to the Murray State Racers within the first half through the second spherical of the 2022 NCAA Males’s Basketball Event at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on March 19, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Picture by Andy Lyons/Getty Photographs)

Hurley, who graduated from St. Peter’s in 1971, received’t take credit score for Holloway’s teaching model or St. Peter’s current play, however he agreed with the emotions concerning the tenacity and toughness of basketball gamers from New Jersey. His groups not often had McDonald’s All-American gamers – like Holloway when he performed earlier than he stared on the court docket at Seton Corridor – however nonetheless received quite a few state championships behind a protection and aggressive play.

“If you believe your defense is good – and we always did – whatever success they had against other teams, in your mind, is irrelevant because they haven’t faced your defense yet,” Hurley, 74, instructed Yahoo Sports activities on Wednesday. “We didn’t have the best player on the floor but we were also going to make the other team uncomfortable with the pressure we were going to bring.”

St. Peter’s did that in its event wins. The Peacocks stifled their opponents all through every contest and matched them blow for blow at each junction. They held Kentucky and Murray State to 42.6% and 34.6%, respectively, and led each groups in defensive rebounds. On offense, gamers nobody heard of like Daryl Banks III and Doug Edert put up 27 and 20, respectively, in opposition to the Wildcats, whereas KC Nfedo mauled the Racers for 17 factors, 10 rebounds and 6 blocks in a recreation the Peacocks by no means trailed.

Being within the shadow of New York Metropolis performs an enormous function in that mentality. Hurley referenced how none of his gamers, nor any of the very best gamers from the realm, earned numerous nationwide clout till they performed groups throughout the Hudson River in Manhattan, Brooklyn or Queens.

“Can they beat Purdue? Well, they beat Kentucky so why the hell can’t they beat Purdue?” Hurley mentioned.

JERSEY CITY, NJ - MARCH 03:  Head coach Bob Hurley of the St. Anthony Friars talks with his players during a time out in the first half against the Monclair Immaculate Lions  during the 2017 NJSIAA Boy's Basketball North B Tournament Quarterfinals at C.E.R.C. on March 3, 2017 in Jersey City, New Jersey.The St. Anthony Friars defeated the Monclair Immaculate Lions 66-52.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

JERSEY CITY, NJ – MARCH 03: Head coach Bob Hurley of the St. Anthony Friars talks together with his gamers throughout a day trip within the first half in opposition to the Monclair Immaculate Lions through the 2017 NJSIAA Boy’s Basketball North B Event Quarterfinals at C.E.R.C. on March 3, 2017 in Jersey Metropolis, New Jersey.The St. Anthony Friars defeated the Monclair Immaculate Lions 66-52. (Picture by Elsa/Getty Photographs)

Alums exterior of basketball world present their satisfaction too

The spirit of St. Peter’s isn’t misplaced on different alumni as nicely. Harry Laurie, who performed on the Peacocks workforce that upset Duke within the 1968 NIT semifinals, agreed with the notion set forth by Holloway and Hurley. He sees a workforce that may revive basketball prominence and recognition not simply to St. Peter’s however to New Jersey.

“This team didn’t seem to me to be that talented by each individual but as a team, they play remarkably well. They really get after you. Their defense is really something,” Laurie, 77, mentioned. “That pretty much exemplifies the kind of style that we played. We didn’t care who they were. We went in and played our hearts out.”

Jayson Wesley, who grew up in Jersey Metropolis, graduated from St. Peter’s in 2011 and performed numerous roles in “The Equalizer” andBlue Bloods,” watched the Peacocks fall to Purdue the final time they performed within the NCAA event. The vitality surrounding that workforce in 2011 was nowhere close to what is going on for right this moment’s squad, however he sees a workforce unwilling to let anybody push them round, too.

“They outhustle these teams from the moment the buzzer goes off at the beginning of the game until the end. They’re completely locked in. They don’t settle down. It doesn’t matter who they’re going up against,” Wesley mentioned. “New Jersey types just going out there just completely playing as gritty as possible and making a mess of the other team’s offensive plays.”

Ken Jennings – to not be confused with the well-known “Jeopardy!” contest – graduated in 1971 and remembers watching the NIT groups tht fell to Walt Frazier’s Southern Illinois Salukis in 1967 earlier than turning round and beating Duke the next yr. Holloway’s workforce, although, offered a fair higher story for the college and state.

“It’s the biggest upset I’ve personally watched in sports,” mentioned Jennings, who’s from Jersey Metropolis and lives in New York. “When they beat Kentucky it was shocking and now to reach the Sweet 16 – that’s amazing. It’s magnificent. It’s tremendous.”

Jennings, who has carried out in a number of New York theater reveals and received the 1979 Drama Desk Award for Excellent Featured Actor in a Musical, identified a quote he heard from former NBA participant and present CBS analyst Kenny Smith.

“He was saying the grit of the basketball teams of the New York City area – that New York City guards will give up their wallets before they give up the ball,” Jennings mentioned, “and Jersey City is even gritty as New York City.”

Hurley desires to ensure this spirit, united by basketball, stays locally, too. Ever since his highschool, St. Anthony’s, closed in 2017, he has invited youngsters from the realm to come back to the gymnasium he coached in and play basketball as a part of the Hurley Household Basis. After imprinting his model of teaching on Holloway, Hurley is exhibiting the children who come to his gymnasium how the arduous work of St. Peter’s can create spectacular outcomes

“We’re flattered that people remember how good we were and what we did [at St. Anthony’s],” Hurley mentioned. To be in comparison with the way in which St. Peter’s is an incredible praise. We’ll preserve this legacy going of the more durable you’re employed in life the luckier you get.”

As for Holloway and the Peacocks, they’ll proceed to play their model of basketball regardless of the added nationwide highlight. Holloway mentioned he doesn’t really feel any totally different about how St. Peter’s will play in opposition to an imposing Purdue workforce on Friday evening that includes star guard Jaden Ivey and 7-foot-4 middle Zach Edey.

“We’re out here just balling, having fun,” Holloway mentioned. “This dream that we’re living right now, that we’re in – we don’t want to wake up. Let’s keep dreaming, let’s keep hooping, let’s keep doing what we do.

“Being the Cinderella team, that’s for the media. That’s a great story, a great feel-good story. And don’t get me wrong, it is what is – we are a Cinderella team. Fifteen-seed St. Peter’s. Nobody ever heard of us. I think and I hope that we proved we can play with just about anybody.”

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