Chicago native Phil Greene has assimilated nicely into the New York culture in his time at St. John’s, but he made one thing clear.
“I’m not a fan of the thin pizza,” he said. “I like the deep dish. That gets you full in, like, three slices.”
Culinary preferences aside, the freshman Greene and his Red Storm teammates head to Chicago on Wednesday night to take on DePaul (11-9, 2-6) at Allstate Arena.
This will be Greene’s first basketball-related trip back to his hometown in his young career with St. John’s, and is expecting 60 friends and family to be in attendance.
“Everyone is excited. They told me they have my back,” he said. “Of course I want to play well and get a win in front of the hometown crowd.”
After a five-game stretch in January when he struggled, Greene has picked his game up, of late, averaging 11 points in his last four contests, including 11 in a win over West Virginia on January 25th.
He credits some of that to a more aggressive attitude from teammate Moe Harkless, who put up 30 points against Duke at Cameron Indoor on Saturday.
“[Harkless' agressiveness] gets me going. It’s rare you see Moe aggressive. Once he’s aggressive, the whole mood of the game changes,” said Greene.
In early December, fellow St. John’s freshman Sir’Dominic Pointer returned home when the Red Storm went on the road against Detroit.
“[Greene] is ready to play,” said Pointer. “It’s special to go home and see your family, especially when you don’t get to see them a lot.”
“Going back home, shots seem to fall for you. It’s just how it is.”
Greene hopes the hometown magic is working for him tonight at 8:30pm on ESPN3.com.