(COACH: LOU CARNESECCA)
St. John's swingman Shelton Jones doesn't mind his new nickname, the Amityville Horror. After all, he did star at Amityville (N.Y.) High just up the street from the house that inspired the book and movie. But Jones, a wiry 6'8" sophomore, prefers his high school nickname, Ice. "Besides," he says, "the Amityville house is beautiful."
With the loss of All-America swingman Chris Mullin and 7-footer Bill Wennington to the NBA, the Redmen are now more of a mystery than the Final Four terror of last season.
Jones could see duty at second guard as easily as power forward. "He might be the key to our attack," says junior forward Walter Berry. Jones could join Berry, the Redmen's second-leading scorer (17 points per game) and top rebounder (8.7) last season, and junior Willie Glass to form a greyhound front line reminiscent of Louisville's Doctors of Dunk. Or he could move to guard to make room for 6'11", 245-pound Marco Baldi, whom coach Lou Carnesecca imported from Aosta, Italy by way of Lutheran High in Brookville, N.Y. Baldi lacks mobility, but, says assistant coach Ron Rutledge, "he has a feel for the game that you don't see in European players."
Replacing Mullin's all-around genius won't be so easy. If Glass, the defensive stopper, has improved his jumper, even he could move to the backcourt alongside fellow junior Mark Jackson. Although great in the open floor, Jackson is an erratic outside shooter who at times has bridled at the tight reins Carnesecca places on his playmakers.
Carnesecca knows this won't be an easy season. "I won't need a sweater this year," he says. "I'll need an overcoat."