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Chris Obekpa Ties St. John’s Red Storm Single Season Shot Blocking Record

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The St. John’s Red Storm might be a pretty up and down team but that doesn’t mean they don’t have anything to celebrate. Freshman big man Chis Obekpa has been only of those things needing celebration. It’s only 15 games into the season for the Johnnies but nobody tell Obekpa , who is on pace to shatter the Red Storm’s single season shot blocking record.

For those who are unaware of Obekpa you need to start immediately watching the man play. Obekpa, or as the cool kids call him “Oblockpa”, is averaging over 5 blocked shots per game. Pretty crazy considering he’s 6’9 and only gets whistled for 3 fouls a game(Which is pretty impressive considering how aggressive he is contesting shots).

St. John’s, even though the already aforementioned inconsistency, are one of the most exciting teams to watch play on your picture-box. Between Obepka’s ability to knock shots to the 7th row, as well as D’Angelo Harrison‘s ability to hit shots no matter where on the court, there is never a dull moment while watching Red Storm basketball.

Through 15 games Obekpa has 76 blocked shots, which tie him for the single season school record. Considering it’s only halfway through the season, I think it’s safe to assume the freshman will shatter the record at some point this season. While Obekpa has some really awesome nicknames and block shots are a humorously high rate, he does have some limitations. The Nigerian born big man shoots below 3o percent from the charity stripe, only averages 5.5 rebounds per game, and scores a whopping 4 points per.

Those really aren’t criticisms as they are facts. St. John’s really doesn’t need Obekpa to be an offensive threat, especially considering he’s more than holding up his end of the bargain on the defensive side of the court. I imagine his overall game gets better with time, but if it doesn’t, I’m sure all the St. John’s fans can live with the 5 shots he swats away per night.

Joe covers the Catholic Seven for Rant Sports. For the love of Sam Cassell, follow him on the Twitter Machine(Even if using your mobile device) @JosephNardone

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NCAA Tournament Profile: St. John's Red Storm

Record: 21-11

RPI: 37

BPI: 51

Conference: Big East Conference

How They Qualified: At-Large Berth

Region: No. 9 seed in South

 

The St. John’s Red Storm have been a tough puzzle to solve ever since Steve Lavin took over as head coach. Lavin has recruited like a boss, but his teams simply have not met expectations. Well, his team didn’t blow us all away this year, but it will be partaking in the 2015 NCAA tournament. It is all about those baby steps.

This is the Red Storm’s first appearance since 2011. Needless to say, the team was well overdue.

 

What You Need to Know:

Leading Scorer: D’Angelo Harrison (17.5 PPG)

Leading Rebounder: Sir’Dominic Pointer (7.6 RPG)

Leading Passer: Rysheed Jordan (3.1 APG)

Bad Losses: DePaul, Creighton, Seton Hall

Good Wins: Providence (twice), Xavier (twice), Syracuse, Georgetown

 

If everything comes together, St. John’s could be one of the biggest surprises of the tournament. That may be asking for a lot, though. This team did lose 11 times on the season.

If you are looking for a player who can score at will, look no further than D’Angelo Harrison. Harrison is a senior, so you better believe he will be playing every game like it is his last because … well, every game could realistically be his last. Fun fact: Harrison has averaged over 16 points per game all four years at St. John’s — he is the real deal, folks.

St. John’s wasn’t the most consistent team in the country, so it will be interesting to see which Red Storm team shows up — the one that lost three in a row at one point, or the one that started the season off with an 11-1 record.

The St. John’s Red Storm are dancing!

Trevor Lowry is a Content Associate at RantSports.com. If you’re a tweeter feel free to follow him @TheTrevorLowry, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

Will this finally be the year that Steve Lavin coaches his St. John's Red Storm on a deep run? Whether the case, they enter the dance with some talent.

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