Sean Evans - Red Storm in Review 2011, the big man who wanted to be a guard

[See earlier Red Storm in Review posts]

We mentioned the 6'8, 260 pound Sean Evans yesterday, speaking of his benching early in the year. The stalwart forward had started all but two games his sophomore and junior seasons, but found Life with Lavin a little less permissive, a little more antagonistic to his natural - or Norm Roberts' coached - hoop stylings. 

Sean Evans came to the St. John's Red Storm in 2007 a converted defensive end just dedicating himself to playing forward on the hardwood. Norm Roberts' penchant for players few people had heard of unearthed an athletic gem - a big man that the other Big East teams weren't all over, agile, muscular and football tough. Evans spent three years as a major part of the rotation, an unknown who became a Big East starter.  His contributions over the four years were great, and he left his mark on the Red Storm. But could Evans have been a better player?

After a promising sophomore campaign, Evans didn't take the next step. And when Steve Lavin came along, the two butted heads, leaving Evans out of the rotation and Sean threatened to transfer.

Sean logged a lot of bench time in his senior year, missing two games entirely while healthy, and not cracking 20 minutes in a contest until February. His final stat line:

Sean Evans - All Games
All
G
MPG
eFG%
Poss %
Off Rtg
FT % 
FTR
PPG
OReb%
DReb%
Stl%
TO%
2010-11
31
12.1
49.3
17.1
104.3
59.3
76.6
3.6
10.7
17.2
3.0
14.9
Sean Evans - Big East Games only
Big East
G
MPG
eFG%
Poss %
Off Rtg
FT % 
FTR
PPG
OReb%
DReb%
Stl%
TO%
2010-11
17
11.7
47.3
17.0
98.0
62.1
76.3
3.2
10.6
16.5
3.0
19.6

 

At the end of the season, Sean seemed to be on board with what Lavin and his staff wanted to do with him. Which is good, because what Evans' tended to do was not always good basketball. Part of the issue is how Evans went about getting his shots.

A former guard, Evans dribbled across the paint. He dribbled up court. But he wasn't agile enough to make convincing guard moves off of the dribble. He drew some fouls with his activity, but had no range; a defender could wait for him to get within five feet of the basket. Sean had few posts moves; his most reliable scoring move was off of the offensive rebound.

And Sean Evans' free throw shooting hovered in the low-50% range. Even when he got to the line, he didn't have the skill to convert.

After the 2009 season, I wrote on the blog about Sean Evans' game:

Evans' style of game is a high wire act, in a sense; there's little room for error, and when there is error, Evans is much less effective on the court. He depends on offensive rebounds, tip-ins, and pure hustle, which is great if he wasn't handling the ball, or if he had post moves and/ or counter moves.

But Evans will routinely take a rebound and try to go end-to end with the ball to get a shot or generate a foul. He will try to dribble in from 15 feet out. And he some of those shots go in; it's just that Evans turns the ball over 25% of the time. On other teams, turning the ball over 25% of the time as a forward/ non-ball handler makes a player a liability. But on this team, being in attack mode sometimes trumps structure, and other teammates turn the ball over more.

The turnover rate went down in the 2009-2010 season - he channeled his talents better and wasn't allowed to stay on the court long enough to get comfortable with some of his worse offensive concepts - but not much changed for Sean.

Sean had some value as a mobile big body, as an aggressive offensive player, and as an offensive rebounder, despite his inability to block many shots. He reached over 10% of his teammates (or his) missed shots, and he was an active one in the paint. Evans was also the player who would dribble into traffic. He was the one who stole the ball against Marquette in 2009-2010, dribbled up court free, and missed a layup when he didn't finish strong in what was a two-point loss at Carnesecca Arena.

Mostly, Sean's a player who never developed the way he should have. Evans got his redemption in February and March, playing a key role for the Johnnies when Justin Brownlee started to scuffle and when D.J. Kennedy was out with injury. Still, he needed to learn a more disciplined game earlier. Hopefully the lessons from his time with Coach Lavin stick to him.

Sean Evans - All Games
All
G
GS
MPG
eFG%
Poss %
Off Rtg
FT % 
FTR
PPG
OReb%
DReb%
Stl%
TO%
Blk%
2007-08 
30
6
14.0
43.1
18.3
74.3
34.6
59.0
3.1
9.1
12.2
1.1
25.7
2.1
2008-09 
34
34
27.5
51.4
21.7
97.2
50.8
44.6
10.3
11.8
17.5
2.2
20.5
1.1
2009-10 
33
31
21.0
46.0
21.0
95.6
52.2
34.5
6.7
14.1
18.0
1.6
18.9
1.3
2010-11
31
2
12.1
49.3
17.1
104.3
59.3
76.6
3.6
10.7
17.2
3.0
14.9
1.3
Sean Evans - Big East Games only
Big East
G
GS
MPG
eFG%
Poss %
Off Rtg
FT % 
FTR
PPG
OReb%
DReb%
Stl%
TO%
Blk%
2007-08 
18
6
16.3
39.6
17.1
71.0
35.1
69.8
3.1
9.1
14.6
1.4
25.7
2.7
2008-09 
18
18
27.6
50.0
21.8
90.4
51.7
42.8
9.5
11.7
18.8
2.4
25.0
0.6
2009-10 
18
17
18.1
49.4
19.2
96.1
42.1
20.8
5.4
12.2
20.3
0.5
18.8
0.9
2010-11
17
0
11.7
47.3
17.0
98.0
62.1
76.3
3.2
10.6
16.5
3.0
19.6
0.6


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