#44 St. John’s Red Storm: College Basketball 111 in 111


st. john's cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

A lack of depth really left the St. John’s Red Storm with little chance of being a factor in the Big East last season.  With Steve Lavin healthy and back on the bench, and improved depth up and down the roster, St. John’s will be a bigger factor this season.

Last Season: T-11, 6-12 in Big East, 13-19 overall
Predicted Big East Finish: 8th

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: God’s Gift Achiuwa (Sr)/Orlando Sanchez (Jr)/Chris Obekpa (Fr)
SF: Sir’Dominic Pointer (So)/Jakarr Sampson (Fr)
SF: Amir Garrett (So)/Marc-Antonie Bourgault (So)/Christian Jones (Fr)
SG: D’Angelo Harrison (So)/Felix Balamou (Fr)
PG: Phillip Greene (So)/Jamal Branch (So)

Gone: SF-Moe Harkless, PG-Nurideen Lindsey (transfer-Rider), PG-Malik Stith (left program)

2012-2013 Outlook:
Besides losing Moe Harkless to the NBA Draft and reserve Mailk Stith who left the program, the Red Storm return five players who logged heavy minutes a year ago while also welcoming in some impact newcomers.  For a high-energy, full court, up-and-down team like Lavin likes the Johnnies to be; that depth will be crucial as St. John’s tries to wear down their opponents.

The top returning player is shooting guard D’Angelo Harrison who led the team in scoring averaging nearly 17 points per game as a freshman.  His ability to stroke it from deep is needed since the team really struggled shooting it from distance and doesn’t have a ton more deep threats this year.

Starting point guard Phil Greene is also back and will pushed heavily for playing time highly touted Jamal Branch who becomes eligible in the second semester after transferring in from Texas A&M.  Branch has the ability and potential to eventually replace Greene as the starting floor general.  Freshman Felix Balamou provides needed depth at guard.

There is plenty of athleticism at forward with Sir’Dominic Pointer and Amir Garrett.  Both guys are capable of playing multiple positions and are at the best in the full court whether it be offensively or defensively.  The Red Storm get a shot in the arm with the addition of lengthy forward Jakarr Sampson who was supposed to join the team last season but didn’t qualify academically.  JUCO transfer Marc-Antoine Bourgault and Christian Jones help alleviate the lack of depth the team suffered last season.

God’sgift Achiuwa brings some muscle and strength inside.  Adding JUCO transfer Orlando Sanchez and highly-recruited Chris Obekpa triples the size down low which is key considering Harkless had to play the role of center frequently last year.

There isn’t a shortage of talent or depth on this year’s Johnnies’ team but unlike the deep group Lavin had two years ago, experience will be the question.  How quickly this young team gels together will be the difference between St. John’s returning to the NCAA Tournament or settling for a trip to the NIT.

Player to Watch: Jakarr Sampson
Sampson’s length and versatility on both ends will allow him to play a Harkless-type role for the Red Storm right away.  He has decent range on his jumper, can take bigger defenders off the bounce and finish explosively at the rim while also being able to post up smaller opponents.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/13 vs. Detroit
11/15 vs. Charleston (Charleston Classic)
11/16 vs. Murray State/Auburn  (Charleston Classic)
11/18 vs. Baylor/Boston College/Colorado/Dayton (Charleston Classic)
11/29 vs. South Carolina (Big East/SEC Challenge)

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#46 Florida State Seminoles
#47 Drexel Dragons
#48 St. Louis Billikens
#49 West Virginia Mountaineers
#50 BYU Cougars
#51 Temple Owls
#52 Washington Huskies
#53 California Golden Bears
#54 Kansas State Wildcats
#55 Nevada Wolfpack
#56 Colorado Buffaloes
#57 Iowa State Cyclones
#58 Northern Iowa Panthers
#59 Colorado State Rams
#60 Iowa Hawkeyes
#61 South Florida Bulls
#62 Valparaiso Crusaders
#63 Illinois Fighting Illini
#64 Arkansas Razorbacks
#65 Wichita State Shockers
#66 George Mason Patriots
#67 Virginia Cavaliers
#68 Villanova Wildcats
#69 Maryland Terrapins
#70 Marshall Thundering Herd
#71 Iona Gaels
#72 Northwestern Wildcats
#73 Oklahoms State Cowboys
#74 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#75 USC Trojans
#76 UConn Huskies
#77 Harvard Crimson
#78 Xavier Musketeers
#79 Ole Miss Rebels
#80 Clemson Tigers
#81 Oregon State Beavers
#82 Texas A&M Aggies
#83 Providence Friars
#84 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#85 Oklahoma Sooners
#86 Lehigh Mountain Hawks
#87 Washington State Cougars
#88 Long Beach State 49ers
#89 Belmont Bruins
#90 Vanderbilt Commodores
#91 Dayton Flyers
#92 Houston Cougars
#93 UCF Knights
#94 Old Dominion Monarchs
#95 Oregon Ducks
#96 LSU Tigers
#97 South Carolina Gamecocks
#98 Seton Hall Pirates
#99 Georgia Bulldogs
#100 DePaul Blue Demons
#101 Boston College Eagles
#102 Penn State Nittany Lions
#103 Arizona State Sun Devils
#104 Virginia Tech Hokies
#105 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#108 TCU Horned Frogs
#109 Mississippi State Bulldogs
#110 Utah Utes
#111 Nebraska Cornhuskers

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag.)

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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