WATCH NOW - Media Day Interview with Malik Boothe
WATCH NOW - Media Day Interview with Paris Horne
WATCH NOW - Media Day Interview with D.J. Kennedy
The Big Picture: The 2010-11 edition of the Red Storm will be brand new on the end of the bench with Steve Lavin taking over as the head coach. The players from last season, though, are mostly the same. Lavin's first St. John's team includes 10 seniors. Last season, the Red Storm reached the NIT. Lavin wants to play an uptempo game and will try to keep this veteran group moving upward. St. John's finished 17-16 overall and 6-12 in the BIG EAST.
Who's Back: Just about everyone is back and just about everyone is a senior. Swingman D.J. Kennedy is the one of the BIG EAST's top all-around performers. Last year, he averaged a team-leading 15.1 points and 6.1 rebounds while also leading the team in assists (102), steals (38) and blocks (22). The other returning double-figure scorer is guard Dwight Hardy who served in a sixth-man role and averaged 10.5 points, shooting 38.3 percent from 3-point range. Guard Paris Horne averaged 9.2 ppg and is back as a starter. Malik Boothe is the incumbent at point guard. He averaged 4.9 points and 2.9 assists. Sophomore Malik Stith (1.6) will try to make some inroads for playing time at the point, after playing in 32 games last year. Up front, 6-8 forward Sean Evans settled in as a starter and averaged 6.7 points and 5.9 rebounds. Six-eight Justin Burrell (6.6, 4.4) mostly came off the bench after two seasons as a starter. Six-ten Dele Coker (1.7, 1.7) cracked the starting lineup nine times last year. Senior forward Rob Thomas, sophomore guard Quincy Roberts and senior guard Kevin Clark saw limited action.
Who's Missing: Big guard Anthony Mason, Jr,, who was slowed by injuries in each of the past two seasons, averaged 7.3 points and 5.4 rebounds last year in 19 games. Reserve guard Omari Lawrence (2.3, 15) transferred.
Storylines: It's hard to imagine a team with 10 seniors, but Lavin certainly has an experienced group for his first St. John's team. Heralded freshman forward Dwayne Polee, Jr. is the only newcomer. Eleven of the 16 Red Storm losses were by 10 points or less. Lavin's preference for an uptempo pace may help push St. John's up in the BIG EAST standings.