St. John's Women's Basketball 2012 NCAA Tournament Capsule

St. John’s Red Storm
Big East (22-9, 13-3)

It wasn’t a season of change for the St. John’s women’s basketball team when it came to its overall performance. After all, the team went 22-11 last year and merely played two fewer games this season. However, the Red Storm improved by four games in a difficult Big East Conference setting and ended up losing to Connecticut, 74-43, in the conference tournament semifinals. Yet, they did knock off the Huskies on the road in the middle of February and that was a huge momentum builder for this squad. The Red Storm deserve to be in the tournament, but how far will St. John’s be able to go?

Big Wins: 2/12 at Rutgers (61-52), 2/18 at Connecticut (57-56), 3/4 vs Louisville (68-61)  
Bad Losses: 11/18 at Hofstra (82-93), 12/22 at Harvard (56-63), 1/15 Marquette (55-63)
Coach: Kim Barnes Arico (10 seasons at St. John’s)

Why They Can Surprise:
As evidenced by wins over Louisville and Rutgers, St. John’s has a knack for beating the difficult teams at just the right time. Wins over the Cardinals and Scarlet Knights helped the Red Storm tie with Connecticut for second place in the Big East, although it couldn’t help St. John’s in the conference tournament. The Red Storm have balanced scoring, meaning if one player gets in trouble another can take her place. From Shenneika Smith’s 12.6 points per game down to the 11 points a game supplied by Da’Shena Stevens, balance is the key. St. John’s also is good with second chances. Although its overall rebounding hasn’t been too good, its offensive rebounding (398 of 1,140) has been a blessing a lot of times in case of missed opportunities.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Aside from the 3-point shooting of Eugeneia McPherson, St. John’s isn’t much of a threat from outside the arc. McPherson shot 28 of the team’s 67 3-pointers, so if she happens to be in foul trouble or ineffective, the team could suffer when it comes to long-range shots. It doesn’t help St. John’s was 67-for-241 from 3-point range. Its overall scoring isn’t that good, either. At 62 points per game, the Red Storm are midway down the pack in Division I. In eight of the nine games St. John’s lost this season, it has scored 60 points or less. St. John’s is also in the middle when it comes to rebounding, at 36.4 per game. That is barely inside the top 150 out of approximately 320 programs. The Red Storm also have an inability to hold their own against the really tough opponents like Notre Dame and Connecticut. Then again, the same could be said for most every basketball team.

Probable Starters:
Nadirah McKenith, Junior, Guard, 12.0 ppg, 4.7 apg, 5.7 rpg, 2.4 spg
Eugeneia McPherson, Junior, Guard, 11.8 ppg, 1.9 apg
Shenneika Smith, Junior, Guard, 12.6 ppg, 1.5 apg, 6.6 rpg, 1.2 bpg
Da’Shena Stevens, Senior, Forward, 11.0 ppg, 6.1 rpg
Amber Thompson, Freshman, Forward, 6.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Tesia Harris, Senior, Guard, 2.3 ppg, 1.5 rpg
Keylantra Langley, Sophomore, Guard, 4.5 ppg, 1.3 apg
Briana Brown, Sophomore, Guard, 1.9 ppg, 1.1 rpg
Jennifer Blanding, Junior, Center, 1.3 ppg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 61.8 (173rd in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 54.2 (32, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.7 (60, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 36.6 (66, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 2.2 (332, 16)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: na
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.7 (202, 12)
Rebound Margin: 1.1 (134, 9)
Assists Per Game: 11.9 (216, 12)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.9 (17, 2)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
St. John's    2011    NCAA        Round of 64 win over Texas Tech
St. John's    2011    NCAA        Round of 32 loss to Stanford
St. John's    2010    NCAA        Round of 64 win over Princeton
St. John's    2010    NCAA        Round of 32 loss to Florida State
St. John's    2009    NIT           First Round win over Harvard
St. John's    2009    NIT           Second Round win over Hartford
St. John's    2009    NIT           Third Round loss to Boston College
St. John's    2008    NIT           Second Round win over Iona
St. John's    2008    NIT           Third Round win over Boston College
St. John's    2008    NIT           Fourth Round loss to North Carolina State
St. John's    2006    NCAA        Round of 64 win over California
St. John's    2006    NCAA        Round of 32 loss to Maryland

*all team stats through 3/1

See All Women’s Basketball Postseason Capsules