By Anthony Bosco
Anthony Glover is chomping at the bit. The 6-foot-5 hulking mass of a power forward is preparing to make his debut with the St. John’s Red Storm this year and can’t wait to suit up, get on the floor and prove to the world he is as good as advertised.
Glover, out of Rice High School — the same program which produced Felipe Lopez — committed to St. John’s more than a year ago when Fran Fraschilla was still coach. Glover stayed true to his word when Fraschilla parted ways with the school, but was forced to sit out a year because of academic ineligibility.
“The reason I was coming there was because of the players,” said the 20-year-old Glover, who had played with St. John’s team members Rob Artest, Tyrone Grant, Erick Barkley and Chudney Gray on the AAU Riverside Church team. “I knew them from high school and my AAU team. I knew I could really match-up with them.
“I was kind of nervous,” he added upon hearing of Fraschilla’s departure, “but when I heard Coach Jarvis was going to coach. I stuck with the commitment.”
Even though he did not recruit Glover, Jarvis made no bones about the fact that Glover would be the most talented player joining the Red Storm this season.
“He’s my top recruit,” the coach said earlier this summer.
And he will have to be. With Grant, the team’s top rebounder, and Artest gone, as well as Albert Richardson, who lost his fight for another year of Division I eligibility, the Red Storm are thin up front. Both Donald Emanuel and Lavor Postel are back and should both see quality minutes in the center and small forward slots, but that’s where the team’s depth will be put to the test.
Glover will probably earn the starting spot at the power forward position and will be called upon to grab a majority of the team’s offensive and defensive boards. Glover also knows that most of his points will come in the paint.
“I think what separates me from other ballplayers is that my size intimidates people,” Glover said. “They don’t know where I’m going to hit them from. My game is inside. I’m much quicker than most post players.
“[Rebounding] is a tough job, but I know I can do it,” he added. “I’m eager to play. I’ll take that responsibility. I can intimidate people very easily. That’s what I’m looking forward to — intimidating people. I’m a lot stronger than a lot of these big people out here today.”
Glover’s confidence should not be mistaken with cockiness. He is a proven inside player, twice leading the Rice Raiders to the city and state championship in his sophomore and senior seasons. As a senior, Glover averaged 18 points and 12 rebounds per game and his experience playing with so many of his teammates in the amateur ranks has filled him with the knowledge that he can play on the collegiate level.
But while Glover is sure he will be able to hold his own in the trenches while fighting for rebounds, he also readily admits that the offensive part of his game needs some work if he wants to be a regular contributor in the Big East.
“Scoring might be a problem. It’s going to be hard for me. I’m going to get the points regardless because of the put-backs on the offensive boards,” said Glover, who has been working on his free throw shooting in the off-season. “I know when they foul me that I’m going to have to make those free throws. I have to be an offensive threat.”
Other new players joining the Red Storm this year include 6-foot guard Heath Orvis out of Colorado, Connecticut’s Jack Wolfinger, a 6-foot-10 guard, and two frontcourt players, Abe Keita, a 6-foot-9 center from Massachusetts, and Alpha Bangura, a 6-foot-6 forward. Both Bangura and Keita are not expected to be eligible to play this year.
Returning to the team will be co-Big East Rookie of the Year point guard Erick Barkley, Second Team All-Big East shooting guard Marvis “Bootsy” Thornton, swingman Reggie Jessie, Gray and Collin Charles.
Glover watched from the sidelines last year as the team he could not play with advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. And while last year’s version of the Red Storm surprised many with their gritty play against the nation’s acknowledged top teams, Glover believes if he had been allowed on the floor, some of the tough losses would have been wins.
“It was very hard,” he said of having to sit idle while his friends and teammates were playing last year. “I couldn’t be on the floor. I was really happy for them, but the games we lost I think we could have been better, especially the Duke game. We could have used some more rebounds. We did pretty well, but we could have done better if I had played.”
Though he knows he needs improvement to become a multifaceted college player, Glover said he still dreams of one day playing in the NBA. But to get to that next level, even more improvement will be required.
“I most definitely have to develop my ball-handling,” he said. “And I need a mid-range jump shot. There’s a lot of people in the NBA who can do it. That’s what I got to do, as well as the stuff I have to do in college.”
But for right now the St. John’s Red Storm is Glover’s priority.
“I feel I already got the shorts, all I need is the jersey,” Glover said. “I can’t wait to suit up. I want to be there for a long time and do what I got to do on the court. I’m very happy right now. I can’t wait to suit up. I can’t wait.”
Glover saw action recently as a member of the New York City men’s basketball team competing in the Empire State Games along with Barkley, Cincinnati-bound Kenny Satterfield, Georgetown’s Rheese Gibson, Fordham’s Bevon Robin and St. Francis College’s Ray Mineland.