Tuesday, September 16, 2014

St. John's: Ray Floriani's Tempo-Free Analysis

Haggerty Award winner D'Angelo Harrison returns for senior season and opportunity to return St. John's to NCAA Tournament. (Photo courtesy of ESPN)

The season ended with a postseason bid and a 20­-13 record. Those achievements failed to eliminate a bitter taste, largely due to the last two contests. A Big East Tournament loss to Providence and a first-round setback at the hands of Robert Morris at Carnesecca Arena. The latter defeat came in the opening round of the NIT, a tournament that saw the Red Storm enjoy a top seed in their bracket, and both games saw St. John’s stricken by malaise and seemingly going through the motions.

                Possessions           Points        Offensive Efficiency

St. John’s      1236                 1278                   104

Opponents     1228                 1230                   100

The Big East saw St. John’s finish 10­-8. The previous and following statistics are from conference games. St. John’s did get over the 100 threshold in offensive efficiency Defensively, they gave up a too generous 100, but that is the makeup of a 10-­8 season.

A look at the Four Factors:

                 eFG FT Rate OREB Pct TO Rate

St. John’s   48      35           31         16

Opponents  47      41           32         20

What the Red Storm did well....Care for the ball. While the opponents saw one fifth of their possessions end in the dreaded turnover, Steve Lavin’s club kept the figure under 20%. Outside of turnovers, the other three factors are close in comparison.

What is in store? Well, what is needed is consistency. The Storm dropped their first five conference games before finishing on a 8-of-10 run that included a six-game win streak. While the streak had its moments, (wins over Georgetown, Providence and Creighton) a more balanced showing is desired.

There is backcourt potential, led by D’Angelo Harrison, the leading returning scorer. (16.8 PPG in Big East play) The concern here is establishing a viable inside threat as a priority. St. John’s lacked a night in, night out frontcourt player capable of both scoring and defending.

The schedule naturally is highlighted by Big East play. Out of conference is the NIT Season Tip­-Off, a trip to Syracuse in December and a Garden date with Duke in January.

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