St John’s Red Storm: Who Will Breakout?
Young, losing Moe Harkless and Mike Dunlap to the NBA, and the return of Steve Lavin to the bench full-time, the St. John’s Red Storm have a lot of different things going on heading into the upcoming season. Thankfully, with the return of Lavin, many things won’t be consistent with what you saw out of the Johnnie last season.
Last year the Red Storm started 5 freshmen, a lot. Only God’sgift Achiuwa(Sr.) saw legitimate time as someone who wasn’t an underclassmen that will return this season. (Even though he himself, was in his first year with the program). Moe Harkless and D’Angelo Harrison were the stalwarts of the Red Storm team and the former jumped early for NBA glory(Or NBA purgatory known as the Orlando Magic, however you want to look at it)
Being that every team that play St. John’s will know “3′Angelo” Harrison is the primary scorer, teams will game plan around Harrison and try to take him out of the offense. Or at the very least, limit his direct impact on the offensive side of the ball. Harrison is a more than capable player with the ball in his hands and the attention he will garner should open up opportunities for other players on the court. The big question going forward is who will be St. John’s number 2 offensive threat.
I don’t care what ESPN Insider, a Rivals scout, or a CBS Sports super hoops contributor tells you, nobody can predict what incoming freshmen are going to do on the court in their first year with their program. As a St. John’s fan, assuming that you are, Felipe Lopez would be a fine example of everyone telling you how he was going to average 50 points a game and never really deliver on the hype(Lopez was a very good basketball player but had Jesus Shuttlesworth like hype coming into the program. He even made it to the NBA and somehow never managed to fulfill other people’s expectations that were placed upon him). So I’m not going to sit here and guess which incoming freshmen is going to delight the Garden faithful in November.
That leaves us with returning players. None of whom were exactly dynamic on the offensive end last season. 2 of the 3 top scorers for the Red Storm aren’t returning this season. Harkless to the NBA while Nurideen Lindsey transferred to the Syria, I mean Rider University. That leaves Phil Greene and Amir Garrett as last seasons fourth and fifth top scorers. What’s scary and unfortunate for the Red Storm, neither gentlemen averaged over 8 points per game last year.
While you do expect young players to grow and progress after last season, it’s hard to expect Garrett or Greene to make a wild leap in offensive abilities coming into their sophomore seasons (It’s almost unfair to Garrett, who has spent time in the MLB farm system this off-season, pitching some baseballs to future Roy Hobbs).
That leaves us here..
St. John’s will desperately need one of their 1 million incoming freshmen to step up this season. Harrison will not be able to do it alone and it’s unfair to expect the returning players to become offensive juggernauts they were never expected to be.
So kids, where is it I find all the hype about a kid from high school no one has ever seen before? I need me a St. John’s offensive threat pick me up. And with the exception of Harrison, I’m just not finding it on this roster.
Follow young Joseph on the Twitter device if you dare @JosephNardone