While we wait for the great on-court unveiling of the Red Storm against San Francisco State, a pair of readable previews for your reading pleasure:
First, from the AP's Jim O'Connell, a quick look at the Red Storm, centered around Rysheed Jordan, the 6'4" difference-maker at point guard.
St. John's has 11 letterwinners, including five starters, back from last season and welcomes freshman Rysheed Jordan, one of the most highly regarded high school point guards, to the fold.
And according to coach Steve Lavin, Jordan will play.
''He's the best guard, the most explosive guard I've had in college and that includes Baron Davis,'' Lavin said of his former star at UCLA. ''He has made everybody better by the way he practices. He is going to be a very special player.''....
''Honest, nobody cares about minutes. We want to win. We want to win bad,'' said leading scorer D'Angelo Harrison, who missed the last six games last season because of a disciplinary suspension. ''Rysheed is good but there are some other good players here - players who think we can win.''
Will playing time and minutes be an issue? The team has a number of experienced players - but as the piece points out, none of them have reached the NCAA Tournament.
Having players who can confidently spell the team's scorers - and maybe some more-efficient options - is the difference. Is it enough to win the Johnnies' way into the NCAA Tournament?
Slam goes on a multi-paragraph tour of just where the Red Storm have been, from the days where the program was a premier squad to the current attempt at a resurgence - going into what went statistically wrong last season. And now?
Expectations are growing, the talent level is as high as its ever been, and entering year four of Lavin’s regime the pressure to win now is undeniable—exactly what Lavin and the Red Storm want. "At the end of the day, that’s why we lace ‘em up," says [Steve] Lavin. "As a coach and an athlete that comes to St. John’s, you have the chance to do something special like we have in the past. This group has been working hard so that we’ll have something special in March."
The expectations and the pressure have reached a boiling point. This is the year Steve Lavin and his crew have been working towards - experience, depth, talent - and the nation's eyes are on the Red Storm.
More from Rumble In The Garden:
- Second half struggles
- Big East announces hiring of Tom Jernstedt as advisor, FOX Sports unveils Big East broadcasters
- Statheads predict the Big East men's hoops teams
- NHB Podcast: on Obekpa's suspension, Whitehead's trash talk, and the upside of the Rutgers roster
- St. John's gets best Tip-Off turnout in Lavin era