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St. John's basketball 2008 Year In Review Part IV-Mike Cavataio

Part 0 of the Series - Opening | Part I of the Series: Team stats | Part II of the Series: Malik Boothe | Part III of the Series: Justin Burrell

Mike Cavataio (For news of Mike Cavataio's transfer, click here)

(stats taken from, Statsheet, Ken Pomeroy's Basketball Prospectus, and my own calculations)

2007-2008: Freshman
Position: Guard, Forward
Height: 6-4
Weight: 190 lbs
Age: 18 (06/29/1989)
Home: Forest Hills, NY

Mike Cavataio 2007-2008 Highs

High Points 8 (Nova)
High Assists 1 (Marq)
High Rebounds 7 (Nova)
High Minutes 23 (Nova)
High FT Att 4 (G'Town)

Mike Cavataio was rumored to be redshirted before last season. That would have been an excellent idea; he wasn't ready to contribute, and the class construction of the roster needed a redshirt or two to keep the team from having 8 young players to evaluate. Cav - or Mikey Cavs, because he needs a nickname - had some interesting flashes in his limited time.

Cavataio came to St. John's as a slight enigma, a top scorer in the New York City Catholic School league from a school that is not a city power. A player who, because of injury and a transfer from Christ the King to St. Francis Prep, had not attracted much attention from scouts because he’d only played his senior season as part of a school’s varsity program. Much of his recruiting interest came from the Ivy leagues and lower-level local schools, Hofstra, Manhattan, and the like. Mike Cavataio reboundSt. John’s offer seemed to come out of nowhere, a dream come true for a competitive player who wants to match against the best, whose father and uncle attended the school. It’s a nice touch, building connections to New Yorkers who have grown up with a love for St. John’s.

On the court, it was obvious how he could be a scorer – he really moves well without the ball, he really is as active as advertised. And he's a pretty solid offensive rebounder, slipping in between defenders to get at the ball.

But in his limited time, he didn't score very much. And his shot- a low, in front of the face push shot- wasn’t accurate from the outside, and with that kind of release, it remains to be seen if it can be accurate on the Big East level. Additionally, his skills are entirely redundant on this squad.

To be more than a short-time bench player, or the guy who comes in at the end of blowouts to be the human victory cigar/ white flag, he has to get that shot to fall. And Cavataio has to improve his defense – though, to be fair, the games he played were generally the ragged, lopsided affairs where defense was secondary and the team looked out of sorts. He got one start against Marquette and didn’t really impress, going scoreless with 2 quick turnovers, 2 fouls, 2 rebounds, and an assist.

Within the same recruit class, DJ Kennedy and Paris Horne share the same slashing skills, though Cav is better without the ball, Kennedy is more aggressive (not necessarily good) with the ball, and Horne is faster. On top of those freshmen, Sophomore Larry Wright is the far better offensive player.

To reduce redundancy on the team, each of these players has to find their niche. Or redshirt, which I wouldn’t mind seeing from Cavataio, since he probably won’t get major minutes next year. Otherwise… I don’t know how Cav’s dribble is against pressure, but he does seem to look for his teammates; if he has the handle for it, an opportunity might present itself at backup point guard. He won’t break into the logjam at shooting guard/ wing forward. But Mike Cavataio has some skills in there - movement without the ball, rebounding, and that 100% free throw shooting percentage - that the Red Storm could use.

All Conf
Minutes Per Game 5.9 7.6
Effective FG Pct 30.4% 35.7%
FG Pct 28.60% 33.30%
3pt FG Pct 8.3% 10%
FT Pct 100% 100%
FT Rate 21.4% 28.6%
Points Per Game 1.4 2.3
Rebounds Per Game 1.2 2
Off Rebs Per Game 0.6 1
Def Rebs Per Game 0.6 1
Assists Per Game 0.3 0.4
Steals Per Game 0.4 0.8
Turnovers Per Game 0.4 0.3
Assist-Turnover Ratio 0.8 1.3
Blocks Per Game 0.1 0.1
Fouls Per Game 0.5 0.7