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Return to the 2006-07 Top 144 Preview

September 3rd, 2006

By Joel Welser

Broadcast Basketball

 

St. John’s Red Storm

Overall Rank: #69

Conference Rank: #10 Big East

 

2005-06: 12-15, 5-11, 13th (t)

2005-06 postseason: none

 

Coach Norm Roberts needed a few years to turn around the St. John’s program.  Heading into year three, expectations are rightfully higher and, while Red Storm fans can happily look to the future, the present won’t be too bad either.

 

Who’s Out: The Johnnies only lose a few roleplayers from last years 5-11 squad.  The most important is Cedric Jackson, who started ten games before opting to transfer.  Fellow guard Jermaine Maybank is looking for a new school after graduating from St. John’s with one year of eligibility remaining.  Forwards Phil Missere and Ryan Williams were in the regular rotation during their senior campaigns and provided some quality minutes off of the bench.

 

Who’s In: Good things are happening again with the recruiting in Jamaica, New York.  This is a solid class that has tons of shooters ready to come in and make an impact.  Junior College transfer Avery Patterson averaged over 20 points per game at Iowa Western Community College last year and is expected to provide a smooth shooting spark off of the bench.  Derwin Kitchen is an explosive combo guard who will be fun to watch for years to come.  Larry Wright will have to wait his turn on the wing, but he has a great shot and the Michigander has the skills to help out St. John’s in the future.  While the outside shooting aspect of the game is covered for a few years, it is the incoming power forwards that have fans most excited.  Qa’rraan Calhoun can play either forward spot at 6-7 and 220 pounds.  He is a magnificent athlete, a solid post defender and a great shot blocker.  The ball handling and outside shot could use a little improvement to be effective on the wing, but don’t be surprised if that doesn’t take very long to happen.  At 6-6, Rob Thomas is undersized for a power forward, but he has proven to be extremely useful in the paint.  Thomas can step out and hit the jumper and is a fine rebounder.  Academic issues leave his eligibility for the 2006-2007 season in question, but if able to play, Thomas will be a fine addition to the frontcourt.

 

Who to Watch: When healthy, Daryll Hill is a proven scorer.  Two years ago he averaged 20.7 points per game and, in limited action last year, the 6-0 senior averaged 12.2 points.  The backcourt leader needs to be healthy to keep things under control on the perimeter, although there is talent surrounding Hill if he needs to spend some more time on the sidelines.  Point guard Eugene Lawrence averaged 9.3 points and 4.9 assists last year and sophomore Ricky Torres showed some promise as a freshman.

 

Final Projection: Anthony Mason Jr., Lamont Hamilton and Aaron Spears are an experienced and underappreciated starting group of frontcourt players.  With depth like Tomas Jasiulionis available, the frontcourt could turn into the team’s strength.  There is no reason to believe this team won’t make the Big East tournament and the NIT.  A few lucky bounces and we could be looking at a squad that will have something to watch for on Selection Sunday.

 

Projected Post-season Tournament: NIT

 

Projected Starting Five:

Eugene Lawrence, Junior, Guard, 9.3 points per game

Daryll Hill, Senior, Guard, 12.2 points per game

Anthony Mason, Jr., Sophomore, Forward, 8.4 points per game

Lamont Hamilton, Senior, Forward, 12.6 points per game

Aaron Spears, Senior, Center, 7.2 points per game

70 Maryland » Complete List » 68 Purdue

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