Entering the month of February, St. John’s had the makings of a team that was gearing up for a run at a spot within the NCAA Tournament.
However, a 2-5 mark over the course of the past four weeks has all but doomed the Johnnies this season and without leading scorer D’Angelo Harrison, even the potential of making a run within the Big East Tournament seems out of the bag.
Harrison, who is the third leading scorer within the conference at 17.8 points per game, was suspended for the remainder of the season by head coach Steve Lavin just last Friday. In the wake of Lavin’s decision, the Johnnies lost yet another battle this past weekend to Providence, a game that they certainly needed to have in terms of their postseason potential.
As for Harrison, the decision certainly presented a situation in which he and his family were unsure as to why such a punishment was given. According to the New York Daily News, Harrison’s grandmother made the trip to New York City to discuss the suspension with Lavin. Following a few meetings, Harrison and his family felt comfortable with the decision, according to the report.
There is no doubt that the loss of Harrison is a devastating blow to the Red Storm, but one that can certainly be used a lesson moving forward. Lavin made the decision to punish Harrison because of a failure to meet expected standards for conduct and behavior.
Lavin is a tenured head coach, even though he is still re-building St. John’s at the moment. There should be no doubt that his ability to suspend the team’s leading scorer this late in the season also provides a message to the rest of the group and program.
St. John’s will head to Notre Dame on Tuesday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00pm (EST).
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS