- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Seen and heard last night at Madison Square Garden:

CLUB HOPPING — The game marked the two-week anniversary of the scandal that rocked the St. John’s basketball program when six players broke curfew and went to Club Erotica, a Pittsburgh strip club, after a 20-point loss to the No. 4 Panthers.

According to a mother of one of the accused Red Storm players, adult entertainment clubs were a common destination after road games for the Johnnies, but she had not heard anything like the Feb. 4 incident when six players allegedly brought a woman back to the hotel to perform sex for money.

“My understanding is that those guys went out and did that all the time,” Renee Jones, the mother of 6-foot-9 freshman forward Tyler Jones, told the New York Daily News. “I think it’s sad that they didn’t put as much energy into trying to win games as they did to having fun after them.”

Tyler Jones, whose transgressions were considered the least offensive, was the only player reinstated to the team after serving a two-game suspension. The only reason was because he returned to his hotel room instead of engaging in sexual activity with the woman and his teammates.

“I was incredulous when I heard,” Renee Jones said. “I don’t want him [Tyler Jones] hanging around guys who disrespect women like they did. He has a mother and a sister at home and he knows the right way to behave. Those other players obviously do not.”

SHORTHANDED DEJA VU — Playing undermanned teams in the Garden is nothing new for the Hoyas. The Red Storm dressed only nine players — five scholarship and four walk-ons — against the Hoyas. That’s a loaded team compared to last year’s Villanova team, Georgetown’s first-round opponent in the Big East tournament.

Late in the season last year, a calling-card scandal decimated the Wildcats roster just before the tournament. With a majority of the Wildcats suspended for unauthorized use of a phone card, the determined Wildcats faced the Hoyas with seven players and gave the Hoyas a game until Georgetown prevailed at the end in a 46-41 win.

Ken Wright

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