Baselines: what to expect from Malik Stith?

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 10: Malik Stith #31 of the St. John's Red Storm drives to the basket against James Southerland #43 and Rick Jackson #00 of the Syracuse Orange during the quarterfinals of the 2011 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament presented by American Eagle Outfitters at Madison Square Garden on March 10, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

The Baselines series continues: what do you expect from Malik Stith?

Malik Stith is the only returning scholarship player for the Red Storm. Well, to be fair, former walk-on Jamal White is now on scholarship, but he didn't play last year, and will probably be more of an emergency option in the back court. Last year's back-up point guard Stith is the old man on the team, the veteran, the sage voice, and the mature on-court rudder for the good ship Red Storm.

Much of this look at what Stith can bring to the hardwood will borrow from the Red Storm Player Review of Malik Stith, done back in April. There hasn't been any extra buzz about Malik; no word that his jump shot is coming along, or that his floor leadership has stepped up; so let's look at what we have on Stith, below the fold.

One thing you can say about Malik Stith - he's tough.

Stith was recruited by the previous regime, hasn't seen a lot of time on the floor under either coach, and may have been offered a chance to move to another program with the staff's approval. Where other players may have transferred or gone to community college or headed to a lower-level school, Stith has stuck around.

Early in the year - against lower-level opposition - Malik had some solid games. His best asset? Not turning the ball over at all. Second best - very good on-ball defense, coupled with some steals for good measure. In limited time, Malik had value.

That value didn't carry over into Big East play. Stith saw few minutes - no need for him to be the backup guard off the bench if Malik Boothe was backing up Dwight Hardy. The steals were still there. But his lack of offensive presence made him a challenge to put on the floor - a defensive specialist, at best.

Malik Stith hardly scored; and when he tried, he missed badly. Stith had FIVE assists in conference play. In 13 games. Averaging over 8 minutes per game. That's not the mark of a passer, and he has to help make plays instead of being the unconvincing decoy on offense.

From what was written in April:

With a number of quick and talented guards who can also shoot coming in, this is an area where Stith needs to improve if he wants to get more playing time. It's nice that Stith is sticking around as a change of pace, tough guy guard. But if he wants to get anything more than blowout time, he needs to

a. learn to pass
b. draw fouls and/ or convert inside the arc
c. become a beast defender like Travis Walton of Michigan State was, or Chris Kramer from Purdue.

If he can do two of those things, he might have a lot of value as a veteran presence and defensive annoyance, the gatekeeper to what may be a very skinny front court. Stith has tenacity, a strong physique, and a desire to compete.

A prediction - Stith will be a low-usage, defense first guard who steps in to calm the Storm for a few minutes each half. He'll earn about 10-15 minutes per game; some good defense; negligible stats, around 2 points per game, maybe less than an assist per game. If Stith can get some shots up inside of the arc - touching 40%, perhaps - and can hit one or two outside shots, he could be better than this.

Stith's 2-years of statistics are below, broken out by all games and Big East games only.

Malik Stith - 2 year stats
All Games
G
MPG
Poss%
ORtg
eFG%
2P%
3P%
FT%
FTR
Ast%
Stl% 
TO% 
A/T
Fls/40
2009-10 
32
11.0
15.3
73.6
28.9
31.7
0.0
50.0
28.9
19.0
1.7
25.0
1.7
4.0
2010-11
26
12.2
16.7
100.8
39.3
41.5
22.7
74.3
46.6
13.8
3.2
13.6
1.9
4.2
Malik Stith - 2 year stats (Big East only)
Big East
G
MPG
Poss%
ORtg
eFG%
2P%
3P%
FT%
FTR
Ast%
Stl% 
TO% 
A/T
Fls/40
2009-10 
18
11.2
14.8
58.0
22.2
25.8
0.0
20.0
27.7
20.2
1.5
27.0
1.7
4.2
2010-11
13
8.5
16.3
90.1
32.0
38.1
0.0
84.6
52.0
9.0
3.8
16.6
1.0
5.4

 

 

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