St. John's Red Storm are the nation's first official look at collegiate basketball in the 2011-2012 season. The Coaches vs. Cancer tournament always starts college basketball off early. This year, the tournament brings William and Mary to St. John's for an intriguing matchup, and national exposure for a pair of diametrically opposed teams. Steve Lavin will once again not be coaching his team; Associate Head Coach Mike Dunlap will be the pilot of the ship. Rumor has Coach Lavin back in December.
The Johnnies have one returning player... who averaged 12 minutes per game and only played 26 of 33 contests. That's Malik Stith, and he'll be the short, jacked guy on the court. The Red Storm should run whenever possible, led by guard Nurideen Lindsey, a junior college player originally from Philadelphia, and with forwards Maurice Harkless and God`sgift Achiuwa (the reason for the #GodIsOnOurSide hashtag and chants from the student section).
The Storm will look to get shots in transition and avoid the jump shot on both ends. The Johnnies didn't shoot it well in exhibition play, and the matchup zone leaves shooters open.
On the other side, Coach Tony Shaver's William and Mary team has a number of shooters, starting with all-Colonial Athletic Association swingman Quinn McDowell... and a number of injuries as well. They will space the floor and keep shooting from the perimeter. If they play like they did last year, they'll also slow down the game and run a very deliberate offense. On defense, they project to be weak inside.
For a far more detailed preview, there's still time to read our St. John's vs. William and Mary pregame scouting report.
See the rest of the St. John's preview posts from the past 4 days:
- St. John's season predictions 2011-12 from the Rumble
- St. John's non-conference preview, with help from a Magic 8-ball
- D'Angelo Harrison: comfortable in his skin
- Sir'Dom Pointer: A Red Storm of Love and Basketball
- Storm Warnings: St. John's, by the preseason numbers
This is the gamethread. So let's get to talking about the Red Storm! If you're on Twitter, follow Quinn for in-game updates. Pico will be in and out of the game thread - he'll be heckling an actual William and Mary graduate about his team.