Horrid Offense Overshadowing Exceptional Defense for St. John’s Red Storm
“This is what happens when you don’t come out ready to play.”
For the second straight game, the St. John’s Red Storm shot 35-percent from the field, and failed to score 60 points, in their latest loss at home against Georgetown on Saturday afternoon. And despite sophomore Sir’Dominic Pointer’s 11 points off the bench, it’s his quote after the game that speaks volumes about a team that’s 9-7 after starting the season 8-3.
“We’re at a point as a basketball program, as a team, where every practice and every day is a new experience,” said head coach Steve Lavin after the 67-51 loss to number-19 Georgetown. Lavin isn’t exactly disappointed in his team, explaining that their inconsistencies were expected due to their youth and inexperience. Regardless of how Lavin feels, inconsistency isn’t exactly this teams problem.
Through the first half of the season, St. John’s has actually been very consistent. The Red Storm have the nation’s leading shot-blocker in freshman Chris Obekpa, who anchors one of the nation’s toughest defenses. While St. John’s has given up just 66.6 points per game, they’ve also remained consistent on offense, consistently bad. Averaging 67.9 points per game on the season isn’t overly impressive, but their 62.2 clip on a horrendous 41-percent shooting from the field over their last five games has earned them their four latest losses.
Early in the season, the scoring duo of JaKarr Sampson and D’Angelo Harrison combined with a scrappy defense seemed to provide Lavin with a winning formula, but the recent shooting struggles have been a common theme amongst the entire roster, Sampson and Harrison included. Even though Harrison has averaged 20.4 points over the last five games, he’s shot 43 percent from the field, and with the responsibility of taking the most shots on the team, he’s been relatively inefficient for a team struggling on offense.
In a game which Georgetown came into struggling, and also without sophomore Greg Whittington (the team’s second leader in scoring and rebounding), this was one that St. John’s needed to come out fired up for. If you call 19 first half points on 34-percent shooting being fired up, that can get problematic.
What an appropriate word to describe St. John’s season.
For hoops, hip-hop and other random sports and pop culture commentary, follow Jared Mintz on Twitter @JaredMintzTruth