It is not often that a really, really good player stays in the college basketball scene for more than a couple of years. Usually, if a player is that good, he will immediately bolt to become a professional before scouts can pick his game apart and turn him into an undraftable prospect.
Then, there is another type of player in college who is good, but is sticking around because his game would not translate to the NBA.
It is not because his talents are horrible or anything like that, but his size, perceived attitude, overall athleticism, or any combination of that or many other factors, keep him from being a person who would risk declaring early entry instead of making sure he will get his education.
It could also be that the player has never been a first-round pick in the eyes of scouts, which would result in the player having to keep coming back to change the perception of his talents.
St. John’s Red Storm guard D’Angelo Harrison happens to be one of college hoops’ best, unheralded volume-shooters. To call him a volume-shooter is a little unfair, but Harrison does have a habit of heat-checking it from five feet in front of the half-court line. He is also a player who has seen his fair share of off-the-court troubles that have resulted in his real-life, team suspensions.
Harrison is returning for a third season with the Johnnies. As you can read here, he has already established himself as an offensive juggernaut as well as one of Steve Lavin‘s first big-time players. Since he is an undersized two-guard, Harrison is likely to play out his eligibility rather than declaring early entry for the pros.
This season is incredibly important for the Red Storm. It is Lavin’s fourth, but his first with high expectations that are deservedly there. It is also a season in which Harrison can claim some form of redemption as well as help propel the Johnnies back into the big dance — and more importantly, the national spotlight.
If Harrison is able to continue to develop as an otherworldly scorer, improve upon his iffy off-the-court behavior and be one of — if not the main — reasons why St. John’s comes back as a national power, he can end up having a special place in St. John’s lore.
Honestly, he is already more than half way there. All he needs is positive attitude and to continue to take his leads from Lavin, and Harrison can leave the program as a Red Storm legend. Who knows, maybe some scouts might even realize he is a first-round talent after all.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone