2007 St. Johns Red Storm Basketball Preview
The Red Storm of St. John’s (16- 15 overall, 7- 9 Big East) have not been seen in the March Madness lines since 2002. Coach Norm Roberts (37- 48 at St. John’s and overall in three years) has said that he wants to get this team to the post-season. Is that a possibility? Probably not the NCAA tourney but the NIT could be in their near future.
The best stat for this team last year was in scoring defense as the Red Storm ranked eight in the Big East, allowing opponents 64.8 PPG. Unfortunately, St. John’s scored an average of only 63.8 PPG, rating them 15th in the league and putting them at minus-1 in scoring. The club was 14th in rebounding margin at minus-2.1 and 11th in both turnovers (14.2 PG) and assists (13.5 PG).
If there ever was a season for junior forward Anthony Mason, Jr. (11.9 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 41.2 FG%) to reach his potential, this is it. He’s been touted as the “next coming” and the pressure is on for him to deliver. Freshman forward Justin Burrell is the main man in this seven-man frosh class. Burrell stands to be a tough rebounder in a conference that demands dominant front men. Look for sophomore forward Qa’rraan Calhoun (5.9 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 41.4 FG%) to see more playing time.
Last season point guard Eugene Lawrence (7.2 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 5.6 APG, 38.2 FG%) played a lot of minutes. He was an excellent floor commander. Look for him to possibly change roles and maybe the NCAA point spreads. Freshman Malik Boothe brings speed and moves to the point guard spot. He may help out at the point or take over, allowing Lawrence to move to the shooting position.
Last season, Roberts guided the Red Storm to a winning season. That was a big accomplishment. Look for more improvement this year and, if Roberts can keep his job, even more success the following season. This is a young but very talented team. It won’t be easy for these guys to make the post-season but a NIT bid is not out of the question. This club, if it can gel, certainly has the young guns to get them an invitation.