St. John's 2010 NIT Tournament Preview
St. John's Red Storm - Big East Conference (17-15, 6-12)
Seed: #6 - Arizona State Bracket
Big Wins: 1/27 vs Siena (77-68), 1/28 vs Temple (55-48), 2/11 Louisville (74-55)
Bad Losses: 1/3 Providence (59-74), 1/20 at Connecticut (59-75), 2/2 at Rutgers (72-84)
Coach: Norm Roberts
Probable St. John's Starters:
Malik Boothe, Junior, Guard, 4.7 ppg, 2.7 apg
Paris Horne, Junior, Guard, 9.2 ppg, 1.4 apg
D.J. Kennedy, Junior, Guard, 15.0 ppg, 3.1 apg, 6.1 rpg
Anthony Mason Jr., Senior, Forward, 6.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg
Sean Evans, Junior, Forward, 6.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg
Key St. John's Roleplayers:
Justin Brownlee, Junior, Forward, 6.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg
Justin Burrell, Junior, Forward, 6.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg
Dwight Hardy, Junior, Guard, 10.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg
Malik Stith, Freshman, Guard, 1.6 ppg, 1.2 apg
Why The Red Storm Can Surprise:
The one thing that St. John’s does quite well, especially considering the toughness of the Big East Conference, is rebound. The other thing they do well is play great basketball for about 30 minutes. Obviously that falls ten minutes short of actually winning a game. But the Red Storm pulled enough wins together to make the postseason and D.J. Kennedy is one of the main reasons why. The 6-5 wing is a great all-around player who will do just about everything. He is a dynamic scorer who can hit the long ball or use his size to attack to the basket. He leads the team in points, rebounds and assists. He will even block the occasional shot and grab some steals. The return of injury plagued Anthony Mason Jr. has lifted the team. While Mason Jr. is not scoring much, he is much like Kennedy in the sense that he can hit the glass hard and handle the ball.
The more traditional big men are Justin Brownlee, Justin Burrell and Sean Evans. All three of those players average about 20 minutes per game, but it is Evans who gets the starting nod. Evans is the best rebounder of the bunch, especially on the offensive end. All three are decent scorers, but it is Evans who stays under the basket. When Coach Norm Roberts needs a big guy who can step outside and hit the mid-range jumper, he will call on Brownlee or Burrell.
Why The Red Storm Can Disappoint:
Dwight Hardy is the team’s second best scorer and he usually comes in off the bench. Hardy is pretty much a pure shooter and he is easily the most prolific and efficient shooter on the team. If Hardy’s shot is not falling, the Red Storm’s offense becomes quite predictable and easy to defend. Hardy missed the last three games, but is hopeful to return for a postseason tournament. Paris Horne is the other shooting option besides Kennedy and Hardy. Horne is not a consistent scorer by any means and having to rely on his shooting would not be good for St. John’s. One game he will score 15 points and the next game he will score two. If the Red Storm hope to make a tournament run, Hardy and Horne need to be scoring.
Look to College Sports Fans for Red Storm hats and St. John's clothing & apparel and get NCAA Fatheads online.
Who To Watch for St. John's:
Malik Boothe is the unheralded point guard. He rarely scores. His assist numbers are not impressive. Yet, Boothe is on the floor between 20 and 25 minutes a game and needs to keep the offense moving. Boothe needs to turn into a leader on the floor who can make this team play well for 40 minutes, not just 30. If he can, St. John’s has all the weapons to make a decent run in March.
St. John's By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 67.4 (211th in nation, 15th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.2 (123, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.2 (229, 15)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.6 (149, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.6 (222, 12)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.8 (216, 12)
Free-Throw Percentage: 65.0 (281, 14)
Rebound Margin: 2.2 (111, 10)
Assists Per Game: 12.8 (185, 14)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.6 (73, 7)
Joel’s Bracket Says: Elite Eight loss to Seton Hall