Big East Final-4 Interview Variety Pack: Everson, Jones, Martin

With Villanova heading to Houston to represent the Big East in the 2016 Final Four, we at Big East Hoops 24/7 took a very biased trip down memory lane to 1985 when the Big East had 3 teams in the Final Four.

What follows is our recent Q&A with 1 player from each team:                                                       Villanova- Chuck Everson                                                                                                                               St. John’s- Shelton Jones                                                                                                                               Georgetown- Bill Martin

BEH24/7:  What did it feel like to have 3 Big East teams in the Final Four?

Chuck: It was great for the conference to have 3 teams in the Final 4. It put the conference on the map to stay at that point. Knew a lot of the St John’s guys and got to hang with them in Lexington which was pretty cool.

Shelton: To have 3 Big East teams in the 1985 Final Four was not only an awesome feeling for me personally; it was a testament of how dominant the conference was that year.

Bill: It was shocking to see two other Big East teams in the final four and somewhat disconcerting because we had some tough battles with both teams that year.

 


BEH24/7: What was your role on the 1985 team?

Chuck: My role on the 85 Nova team was to back up EZ-ED Pinckney. I was the first big guy in off the bench.

Shelton: Being a freshman on that 1985 team that boasted 4 eventual first round NBA draft picks, my role was limited to practicing extremely hard to make sure the more experienced players were always prepared for the games. Of course I received playing time in certain games during learning situations, as well as during garbage time. Which was often with that team…

Bill: I was the starting power forward and my role was to rebound and score when open. It made it difficult for teams to double-team Patrick if I was scoring.

 

BEH24/7: What was it like playing for a legendary head coach?

Chuck: Playing for Coach Mass was a great experience that I would never trade for anything, he taught us more about life than basketball. The relationship is still very strong today 31 years later we talk all the time and we get together several times a year. Once a year around the Superbowl we head down and stay with him at his house eat pasta and drink some wine and laugh about old times usually with at least 8 or 9 guys from the 85 team, pretty special.

Shelton: Playing for legendary Coach Lou Carnesecca was very intimidating, at first. Until I really came to know Coach, I used catch myself looking at him with awe. As time went on I was allowed to see his human side. Coach is a disciplinarian first. Secondly, he is very knowledgeable about the game of basketball and life. Thirdly, Coach is one of the funniest people that I have ever met. He gave me the formula for success in life. Be disciplined, be knowledgeable, and keep a good sense of humor about life.

Bill: We all have the highest respect for Coach Thompson. He was demanding on everyone; players, staff, everyone. It didn’t always feel good but it never feels good when someone is pushing you to be better and do more than even you thought you were capable.

 

BEH24/7: Are you able to appreciate all of your accomplishments after all of these years?

Chuck: People stop me and ask “how tall are you?” and I tell them, and “did you play?” and I tell them. Then they ask “where did you play?”.  When I say Villanova immediately they want to know if I was on that team. When I say yes I hear about where they were and who they were with the night we won that game. Happens a lot.

Shelton: I have been blessed with a wonderful family and a strong core of friends. As I look back to the 1985 Final Four and beyond, I really appreciate the opportunities that my hard work and sacrifice provided me. I understand that none of it was owed to me. It was all a privilege. I also appreciate all the different characters and personalities that I had the privilege of meeting and/or playing with.

Bill: Over the years I’ve come to appreciate what we accomplished. In fact it seems my role has become even more important over the years and my contributions even greater with every passing year.😂

 

BEH24/7: Who’s winning the National Championship this year?

Chuck: I hope Nova can get this done, not an easy task OK beat us by 30 back in December. Then you have the Orangemen which is always a great classic Big East game or UNC which has some pretty big athletic guys inside. That’s why they play the games, cause you never know….

Shelton: My prediction for this year’s Champion is the repeat from 1985…Go Big East…Go Villanova!

Bill: I’m rooting for OU…Go Sooners!  I can’t root for Nova ’85 or UNC ’82 and the rivalry with the Orange still remains fresh.

 

Our thanks to Chuck, Shelton & Bill for their participation.  Also have to send a shout out to Gene Smith for putting this in motion #Hoya4Life.

Big East Hoops 24/7 Q&A with Tarik Turner

Big East Hoops 24/7 (@bigeasttourney) recently caught up with former St. John’s standout & current FS1 analyst Tarik Turner on a variety of topics.  With some bonus comments from Tim Brando.  Check it out:

tarik turner

BEH 24/7:  Other than your Mom & Dad who’s been the most influential person in your career path?

Tarik: “Outside of my parents, STJ faculty/alumni had biggest impact on career, gave me my first shot at broadcasting as bball radio analyst, helped me grow and learn the business of media thru the vast alumni network.”

 

BEH 24/7:  Looking back after all of these years can you appreciate all of the pressure Felipe Lopez had to handle at such a young age?

Tarik: “Felipe was Lebron before Lebron in high school and did it in the mecca of bball NYC. We were all amazed by how he handled the pressure of being the #1 player out of HS, dealing with media at a young age and living up to expectations. Always stayed humble and treated people with respect. First class dude all the way.”

 

BEH 24/7: You committed to St John’s back in October of ’93 after visiting California & Syracuse. What did you like about St John’s so much?

Tarik: “The chance to play in the mecca of bball, MSG and attend a great university with great tradition, along with living in NYC. Looked at it as a great opportunity for me to learn about myself, grow up and further my career goals after graduation.”

 

BEH 24/7: Do you have any good Malik Sealy stories?

Tarik: “Malik was like a big brother to us. He took a lot of pride in giving back to the younger guys in the STJ program, came back every summer and played pick up ball with us. Every summer he threw a legendary party in Manhattan and always made sure to look out for me and my teammates to get in and get VIP treatment. He was the first person to take me under his wing and show me the ropes of living in NYC. We all looked up to him and miss him deeply. RIP.”

malik sealy

 

BEH 24/7: Between basketball & broadcasting which do you feel you’ve had to work harder at?

Tarik: “Theres nothing like competing as a player in terms of the work I put in to be on top of my game. It’s been a fun transition into broadcasting, where I can study and analyze the game. I’m passionate about it so it doesn’t feel like work.”

 

BEH 24/7: Who were the top 5 guys you had to guard in your Big East days?

Tarik: “Top 5 guys I guarded: Allen Iverson, Ray Allen, Kerry Kittles, Vonteego Cummings, Alvin Williams.”

 

BEH 24/7: What’s the one Big East game you’d pay to go see this year?

Tarik: “Nova vs Providence…big-time guard play, best group of guards (Nova) vs best overall guard/player (Kris Dunn Providence)….exciting match up.”

 

BEH 24/7: What did you think of the Gavitt games?

Tarik: “Gavitt games were a great way to kick off the season while paying tribute to the founding father, Dave Gavitt. A lot of people, including myself, learned more about Dave’s vision and how passionate he was about the Big East Conference.”

 

BEH 24/7: Why should a high school basketball recruit consider playing in the Big East?

Tarik: “The chance to play in an elite conference with great competition, coaches, tradition..a bball only league where you’re the only show in town, on the biggest stage, mecca of hoops, Madison Square Garden for the Big East tourney.”

 

BEH 24/7: Do you ever get tired of Donny Marshall reminding everyone how good those UCONN teams were?

Tarik: “Donny can’t help himself when it comes to reminding us about his UCONN days…its in his DNA. We went from not liking each other as opponents to becoming good friends through our broadcasting careers…great guy, great career. Honor to work with.”

BONUS: Tim Brando comments on Tarik

BEH 24/7: We asked Tim for a comment or two regarding working with Tarik

Tim: “Tarik’s intensity as a player is equaled in his approach breaking down a game. His  understanding of BIG EAST BB history and blending that into his analysis is also a strength of his.”

Thanks to Tarik & Tim for taking the time to answer a few questions.  Class guys all the way!  You can follow them @tarik4turner and @TimBrando

In-depth Analysis: Chris Obekpa’s shorts. Questions in need of answers.

Baby tigers, blocked shots and short shorts.  That’s how teammate D’angelo Harrison describes Chris Obekpa.  As “C.O.” becomes known around the NCAA for being the shot blocker with the short shorts, we felt the need to answer the burning question, “just how short are C.O.’s shorts?”

According to his teammates, sometimes he takes regular shorts and rolls them up, other times he wears a legitimately undersized pair.  Either way there’s a lot of man-thigh showing so let’s compare his naked quads to some legendary nut-hugger wearing players from the 80’s.

* side note: Obekpa is listed at 6’9″ so for fairness, we chose 2 comparative players also listed at 6’9″.  this matters b/c in adults, the femur (thighbone) is the largest bone in the body and accounts for 26.7% of a person’s height, on average.

obekpa with bird and magic take 2

So clearly in this pic, Magic & Bird are wearing legit tighties while C.O. has on the more blousy, rolled-up version.  In this case, with all 3 players standing relatively still, the best look goes to Obekpa mainly b/c of the extra space in the crotch-area.  A little extra thigh is ok as long as it’s not accompanied by and outline of your onions.

obekpa and birdobekpa and magic

In a jumping motion, C.O. fares well again.  Bird has a little bulge happening there which nobody needs to see.  And we’re dangerously close to seeing Magic’s family jewels on the far right.

The scientific rigor of this analysis may be skewed by 2 uncontrollable variables:

1. Magic’s kneepads cover some lower-thigh giving a possible illusion of less exposure.

2. Chris & Larry have thinner legs and “hind-quarters” than Earvin therefore taking up less real-estate inside those trunks.

The verdict:  Obekpa must stick with the rolled-up, blousy version of his daisy-dukes. This will help him play his best, still market himself as the short-shorts guy but avoids the bananna-hammock issue.

And if Chris gets carried away with this, and needs an intervention, the content below should fix it.

obekpa with richard simmons

Follow @BigEastTourney for more hard-hitting analysis of these critical issues

Best Tweet–Worst Tweet: Cheick Diallo NOT going to St. John’s

This was crappy news for the Big East since Diallo chose Kansas so there are no “best tweets” this time…chose the 2 worst tweets.

#2  Obnoxious overuse of a descriptive noun

diallo 4 motors

For the love of Christ, enough.  He has a lot of energy…fantastic.  How about flexing your journalistic thesaurus with descriptors like ‘work ethic’, ‘drive’, ‘persistence’ etc. rather than repeating buzz words.  Ugh.  Annoying just writing about it.

#1 Oh, Fran…don’t.

Diallo worst tweet

Thought Fran was ok dude…til this.  When you crowbar “just got back from a run” into a tweet you’ve entered hardo land.  You have a mere 140 characters to comment on Diallo’s new home and you spend the first 24 of them pumping up your own schmenzer while concurrently attempting to make us feel like slobs?  ZERO reason for that info.  100% irrelevant to the topic. This is bad.  His PR guy should go nuclear and pull the “Fran’s account got hacked” defense to try and save a little face.  Brutal…gives me douche-chills just thinking about it.

Follow @BigEastTourney for more 5-star journalism like this