St. John's Men's Basketball 2014 NIT Tournament Capsule

St. John’s Red Storm
Big East (20-12, 10-8)


It took a while for St. John’s to get into the postseason picture. After losing their first five Big East games, many wrote off the Red Storm. But Coach Steve Lavin rallied his group and they won nine of their next ten games. That included quality victories over Creighton, Marquette, Providence and Georgetown.

Big Wins: 2/4 at Providence (86-76), 2/9 Creighton (70-65), 2/16 Georgetown (82-60)
Bad Losses: 11/29 vs Penn State (82-89), 1/4 at Georgetown (60-77), 1/14 at DePaul (75-77)
Coach: Steve Lavin (4 seasons at St. John’s)

Why They Can Surprise:
St. John’s makes it extremely difficult for their opponent to get a clean look at the basket. Most of that comes from the fact that no team in the country boasts more dangerous shot blocking threats. Chris Obekpa, a 6-9 sophomore, is the most potent of the bunch. He averages about three per contest. Jakarr Sampson, Orlando Sanchez, Sir’Dominic Pointer and God’sgift Achiuwa are all good for about a block a game as well. With a smart backcourt that can take care of the ball, the Red Storm can grind out wins.

Why They Can Disappoint:
However, scoring points is always nice too. D’Angelo Harrison is a potent scorer and averages 17.7 points per contest, but he needs some help. Rysheed Jordan and Phil Greene are options on the perimeter, yet neither has been consistent in the scoring department. Sampson and Sanchez are the best interior scorers. Sampson has not been as productive scoring this season as he was as a freshman, but he did finish the year strong. The good news is Coach Lavin has options when it comes to finding secondary scorers to compliment Harrison. The bad news is St. John’s cannot win if the opposing defense can simply key in on Harrison and nobody else steps up.

Probable Starters:
Rysheed Jordan, Freshman, Guard, 9.7 ppg, 3.0 apg
Phil Greene, Junior, Guard, 7.6 ppg, 1.5 apg
D’Angelo Harrison, Junior, Guard, 17.7 ppg, 1.8 apg, 4.9 rpg
Jakarr Sampson, Sophomore, Forward, 12.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.0 bpg
Chris Obekpa, Sophomore, Center, 4.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.9 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Jamal Branch, Sophomore, Guard, 4.0 ppg, 1.7 apg
Sir’Dominic Pointer, Junior, Guard, 6.1 ppg, 1.8 apg, 1.1 bpg
Orlando Sanchez, Senior, Forward, 7.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.1 bpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.6 (130th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.6 (85, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.0 (139, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.6 (47, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.6 (320, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: n/a
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.6 (152, 6)
Rebound Margin: 0.7 (170, 6)
Assists Per Game: 13.1 (138, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.9 (53, 3)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
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 3/9


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules