With the new season just around the corner, it's always great to get out and see exhibition games to get a good taste of what you could be looking at for the rest of the season.
Hopefully though, Nurideen Lindsey's missed dunk late in the 2nd half isn't one of them.
After analyzing each player during last night's 110-80 win over C.W. Post while broadcasting the game for WSJU Radio, here are my first impressions of each player on the team. Agree? Disagree? Discuss in the comments below.
Nurideen Lindsey - The Philadelphia native gave the fans a lot of things to cheer about... as well as some quality concerns. After displaying great ability to get into the paint and finish, Lindsey showed that he still needs some polish.
Nuri is an excellent ball handler who knows how to time his passes properly. He showed a great change of pace and agility in this game which can throw defenses off. His ability to take it to the rim is strong; but multiple times he got to the basket and was erratic with his handle. As for his defense, Lindsey's quick feet and hands help make him a strong fit for Coach Steve Lavin's style of press defense.
Phil Greene - Greene will be the dark horse for this team this upcoming season. He showed how effective he can be during last night's game, dropping 20 points against CW Post.
When the ball was given to Greene, he played smart, dribbling to an area where he could create for himself as well as see the court for a possible open man. That's what you call proper point guard play. Greene's a good ball handler with very good shot selection as well in his first game. Once he received the ball he would stop, think about his shot and adjust his body to make sure it was the best look.
D'Angelo Harrison: Though he didn't have his three-ball touch, Harrison got to the paint and finished.
When Harrison signed with St. John's, people portrayed him as the new-age Dwight Hardy because of his ability to hit long range shots consistently. During the game it seemed like those reports were off, but that didn't stop Harrison from still scoring 20 points on the night. He did a solid job getting to the rim when he saw his outside shot wasn't working. D'Angelo made some good decisions with the ball, but did also have trouble with cheap fouls. A lot of reaching showed that his defense needed a little work.
Maurice Harkless: If it weren't for that rule that says the guy getting posterized can get bailed out by a charging call, Harkless would have brought the house down.
Harkless showed to be everything expected. Moe's inside rebounding was very impressive - every ball that hit the rim, he seemed to be right around it to snag it up. On the offensive game, his jumper looked smooth, from within the three point range. His three point shot was not on par tonight. His first attempt was about an inch away from being an air-ball. The only bad thing to note was Harkless two early offensive fouls that left him on the bench much of the first half. Aggressive in the paint is good but over aggressiveness can be detrimental to this very slim line-up. Harkless needs to be in the game more then on the bench.
God'sgift Achiuwa - A gift definitely sent from God, ladies and gentlemen.
Though he was playing a very undersized defense, Gift played his role well. He ran the court extremely well which might have caught most by surprise. Gift is a very good finisher around the rim. Boxing out seemed to be an issue, however, for Gift. That he couldn't find his position against 6'6" guards raised some white flags. He has to be able to body the big men in the Big East if St. John's wants to go places.
Sir'Dominick Pointer - Was looking for a bit more by the highest ranked recruit in the class but overall, he did his thing.
Multiple offensive rebounds will be a great asset in the season especially when playing undersized throughout. A solid finisher around the rim but it didn't seem that the offense was going through him - more around him. Defense, of course, was where it was expected to be. Quick hands helped him intercept passes and start breaks for the team.
Malik Stith - Got the starting nod in the game which didn't come as a surprise.
Stith is a true point guard. Doesn't look for his shot but looks to set up his teammates. That unselfishness is a big time plus for these young guys who have the ability to score. His size is the only thing that hinders his productivity on the offensive end but his muscle mass allows him to get into the paint and create for his teammates or himself. Defensive wise he can guard his own man. Doesn't have a quick step but thanks to Lavin's zone defense, he won't ever really be guarding a man one-on-one.
Jamal White, Samuel Sealy-James, Gerard Rivers - The former walk-on and the new walk-ons didn't see much playing time in the game. When the score became out of reach they got in and Rivers scored a nice layup off the pass from Sealy-James. White who is a scholarship player should see more time during the season.