When Steve Lavin took over the St. John’s Red Storm program, expectations were immediately on the rise thanks to a senior-laden squad that eventually qualified for the NCAA Tournament that same season.
St. John’s has made considerable strides on the recruiting trail since, but heading into the 2013-14 season, the Red Storm might just have their most talented squad since that first season under Lavin. Sophomore forward Jakarr Sampson will be a key name to watch, as the 6-foot-8 swing man looks to take the next step in his career after averaging 14.9 points per game as a freshman. In the paint, Chris Obekpa is fresh off a season in which the defensive nightmare made a name for himself with his shot blocking skills and physical play. The role players tightening up the rest of the Red Storm roster undeniably makes the Red Storm a considerable threat to return to the Big Dance in 2014.
The team’s biggest key however, is the return of lead guard D’Angelo Harrison. After averaging 17.8 points per game, Harrison was suspended for team violations late in the season, a move that was damaging to the Red Storm’s late season potential. Either way, Harrison has openly admitted that he is ready to improve both on and off the court and get himself back to prime form. Given his numbers from a season ago, the expectations are soaring for Harrison and St. John’s heading into the 2013-14 season.
Harrison is the team’s leader and he has plenty of talent around him. Needless to say, watch out for the Johnnies next winter.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS