St. John's will now play final three regular season games and postseason without leading scorer D'Angelo Harrison, who was suspended by head coach Steve Lavin this morning. (Photo courtesy of the New York Post)
Steve Lavin has frequently compared this season at St. John's to a roller coaster. Never has that analogy been closer to the truth than it is today.
Less than 24 hours after the Red Storm prevailed in their quest to get an eligibility waiver for forward Orlando Sanchez, Lavin announced this morning that he suspended D'Angelo Harrison, St. John's leading scorer, for the remainder of the season. Sources close to the situation have attributed a "pattern of behavior" as the basis for the suspension, as Harrison's verbal issues with Lavin were well-documented before the season, as he was held out of the starting lineup for both of the Red Storm's exhibition games and dismissed from an early-season practice as well.
"I had a productive meeting with D'Angelo yesterday," Lavin said in a written statement issued through St. John's this morning. "He has a bright future in basketball, and I'm optimistic that his time away from our team will be of value."
Harrison's 17.8 points per game ranks third in the Big East behind Providence guard Bryce Cotton, who the Red Storm will see up close and personal tomorrow night, as well as Russ Smith of Louisville. The Texan also added his name to the 1,000-point club earlier in the season for St. John's, and contributed a career-high 36 points in a losing effort against Villanova on January 2nd. It is unclear at this time as to whether or not Harrison will remain in Queens, but if he does, multiple sources have stated that the sophomore shooter will have to earn his roster spot back, which increases the possibility of him either transferring (which would make this the ninth consecutive season in which St. John's has had a player transfer) or perhaps forgo his two remaining years of eligibility to enter the NBA Draft.
For more information on the Harrison saga, follow our friends at Rumble In The Garden, whose columnist Quinn Rochford helped break the news of the suspension this morning.