St. John's Men's Basketball 2019 NCAA Tournament Capsule


St. John’s Red Storm

Big East (21-12, 8-10)

St. John’s started this season 12-0. However, it was a pretty easy schedule and many expected the Red Storm to struggle once Big East play began, especially after they lost their conference opener. But that was not entirely the case. Coach Chris Mullen certainly had some tough stretches in Big East play, but his team beat Marquette twice and Villanova once during the regular season to give a big boost to the RPI and get into their first NCAA Tournament under Coach Mullen.
Big Wins: 11/20 vs VCU (87-86), 2/5 at Marquette (70-69), 2/17 Villanova (71-65)
Bad Losses: 1/12 DePaul (71-79), 2/9 Providence (56-70), 2/28 Xavier (73-84)
Coach: Chris Mullen
Why They Can Surprise:
St. John’s has five big time scoring threats that can go off on any given day. Shamorie Ponds is the best of the bunch, averaging 19.5 points per game. He has not been the most consistent outside shooter, but Ponds can score in bunches and it is not uncommon for him to drop 30 points on a good team. Mustapha Heron and LJ Figueroa are the other shooting threats on the perimeter and big man Marvin Clark can stretch the defense too. Ponds and Justin Simon do most of the ball handling and are a huge reason why St. John’s ranks fourth in the nation in turnover margin. They will get a ton of steals and rarely turn the ball over.
Why They Can Disappoint:
For all of the extra possessions St. John’s gets because of turnovers, they lose most of them on the glass. This is a big team with three guards in the starting five standing at least 6-5, but a lot of pressure is put on Clark, a 6-7 senior, on the defensive end of the floor. There is not much depth there either with South Carolina transfer Sedee Keita not quite living up to his potential on the glass.
Probable Starters:
Shamorie Ponds, Junior, Guard, 19.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 5.2 apg, 2.6 spg
Mustapha Heron, Junior, Guard, 14.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg
Justin Simon, Junior, Guard, 10.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.2 apg
LJ Figueroa, Sophomore, Guard, 14.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg
Marvin Clark, Senior, Forward, 10.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg
Key Role Players:
Sedee Keita, Sophomore, Forward, 2.1 ppg
Bryan Trimble, Sophomore, Guard, 2.3 ppg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 78.1 (53rd in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 74.5 (253, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.8 (95, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.2 (148, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.7 (74, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.8 (66, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.4 (112, 5)
Rebound Margin: -5.7 (337, 10)
Assists Per Game: 14.2 (111, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.5 (16, 1)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2015NCAARound of 64 loss to San Diego State
2014NITFirst Round loss to Robert Morris
2013NITFirst Round win over St. Joseph's
2013NITSecond Round loss to Virginia
2011NCAARound of 64 loss to Gonzaga
2010NITFirst Round loss to Memphis
2009CBIFirst Round loss to Richmond
2003NITFirst Round win over Boston U
2003NITSecond Round win over Virginia
2003NITQuarterfinal win over UAB
2003NITSemifinal win over Texas Tech
2003NITFinal win over Georgetown
2002NCAARound of 64 loss to Wisconsin
*all team stats through 3/10