The early season success was, still is, crucial for the St. John’s Red Storm. With a young squad in his grasp, Johnnies head coach Steve Lavin had a tough task at hand. Lavin had to juggle finding a rotation, building chemistry among a young team, and finding ways to win games while trying to balance all of that. After splitting the first four games of the season St. John’s has gone on a small winning steak, winning their last four games. Just as importantly as the wins, they have found their identities, thanks in large part to Lavin.
Now the Red Storm sit with a 6-2 overall record and plenty of things to be excited about. D’Angelo Harrison, who was clearly their best player to start the year, has skyrocketed his “Star” status up there with the nation’s elite. Lavin found a reliable point guard in one of the most improved players in the conference with Phil Greene IV. Freshman JaKarr Sampson and Chris Obepka have surfaced as forces down low. And the rest of the team is starting to fill nicely around St. John’s core-four.
That’s not see say the players outside of the Red Storm’s core-four haven’t been a major factor in their early season success. Amir Garrett and Sir’Dominic Pointer have clearly upped their game from last year and have found some new ways to put the bucket in the basket. Christian Jones is adding some much needed depth and stability to the frontcourt. Felix Balamou, who was on the verge of being redshirted, is now in the St. John’s starting lineup. And one of the student-section’s favorite players Marc-Antoine Bourgault is starting to hit long-range bombs while capturing the hearts of coeds all across campus.
Paramount to the Johnnies’ long-term success was how they fared during their non-conference schedule. With four more games until Big East play tips off, the Red Storm are looking at a realistic 10-2 start to their regular season. This is the perfect scenario for the team as they start their journey through the treacherous Big East schedule.
The Johnnies go out west for their next game before returning home to finish their last three non-conference games, highlighted by facing St. Francis(NY) at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. If all goes according to the Red Storm’s perfect scenario, their first game at the Barclays can be their first game as New York’s favorite (college) team.