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