St. John's Men's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Capsule

St. John’s Red Storm
Big East (21-11, 10-8)


It was a bit of a do-or-die season for Steve Lavin coming into 2014-2015.  He had to take a leave of absence for a time to deal with a medical issue in late 2011, which raised some questions about his future with the Red Storm.  Since his return the team has been up-and-down, missing the NCAA tournament the last two seasons.  St. John’s was teetering on disappointment this year before hitting their stride late and solidifying their spot in field of 68 for the first time since 2011.

Big Wins: 12/6 at Syracuse (69-57), 1/14 at Providence (83-70), 2/28 Georgetown (81-70)
Bad Losses: 12/31 at Seton Hall (67-78), 1/18 at DePaul (67-71), 1/28 at Creighton (74-77)
Coach: Steve Lavin

Why They Can Surprise:
St. John’s roster is full of talent.  If they can play in sync and under control, they can certainly compete with anyone in the country.  D’Angelo Harrison leads a cast of seniors who are thirsty for a run in the tournament.  Harrison leads St. John’s in scoring at 17.5 points per game.  Four players average double-figures.  Sir’Dominic Pointer, listed as a guard, is one of the more versatile players in the country.  He can play in the low post and is a very good passer.  There are plenty of scoring options in the half-court for St. John’s and they are just as dangerous finding the basket in transition.  Defensively, they make it extremely difficult to drive the ball inside.  The Red Storm are among the nation’s leaders in blocked shots, led by Chris Obekpa (3.13 per game).  Pair that with their ability to generate steals in transition – they amassed 239 this season – and it makes St. John’s a tough team to settle in against.  Also, they have been on a hot streak the last month of the season.  They can carry that with them into the tournament.

Why They Can Disappoint:
An off shooting night for the Johnnies is not uncommon, and it could spell trouble for them in the tournament.  They are a team that does not play well from behind.  In several of their losses this season, they got blown out by 15 points or more.  They have a difficult time finding their footing when opponents are hitting their shots.  They are going to have to improve their three-point shooting as well and this team only makes about five per game.  The magic number for them will be 70.  They only lost two games in the regular season when they reached the 70-point mark.  They will need to play fast and efficient in order to make that happen.

Probable Starters:
Phil Greene IV, Senior, Guard, 13.2 ppg, 1.6 apg
Jamal Branch, Senior, Guard, 4.8 ppg, 2.4 apg
D’Angelo Harrison, Senior, Guard, 17.5 ppg, 1.9 apg, 5.4 rpg
Sir’Dominic Pointer, Senior, Guard, 13.5 ppg, 3.0 apg, 7.6 rpg, 2.4 bpg
Chris Obekpa, Junior, Forward, 5.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 3.1 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Rysheed Jordan, Sophomore, Guard, 14.3 ppg, 3.1 apg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.7 (73rd in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.4 (200, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.6 (110, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.5 (69, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.1 (202, 7)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.6 (114, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.4 (166, 7)
Rebound Margin: -3.4 (297, 8)
Assists Per Game: 12.7 (165, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.6 (26, 1)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2014    NIT    First Round loss to Robert Morris
2013    NIT    First round win over St. Joseph's
2013    NIT    Second Round loss to Virginia
2011    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Gonzaga
2010    NIT    First Round loss to Memphis
2009    CBI    First Round loss to Richmond
2003    NIT    First round win over Boston U
2003    NIT    Second round win over Virginia
2003    NIT    Quarterfinal win over UAB
2003    NIT    Semifinal win over Texas Tech
2003    NIT    Final win over Georgetown
2002    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Wisconsin

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules