With two returnees and a star freshman, the St. John's wing positions are rich with developing talent.
JaKarr Sampson's scoring as a wing should have him squarely in the running for Big East freshman of the year. He's become the second scorer for the Red Storm, putting up 14.7 points per game. Starting with his third game, the confidence in Sampson's jumper became evident - he's shot 51% inside the arc despite almost three-quarters of his shots from the midrange.
Sampson is a threat in transition, and will become even more deadly when he uses the threat of his jumper to get to the rim to finish with his elite athleticism. [more on the shot selection in our earlier look at team play.]
Jakarr Sampson has also been the Johnnies' best defensive rebounder with 7 per game, has blocked a number of shots (1.8/ game) and has been able to stay on the court.
Sampson's emergence has meant less time for the returning wings, Sir`Dominic Pointer and Amir Garrett. Both have returned from the offseason with much the same play, but fewer turnovers.
Pointer entered the season as a possible point-forward. He's lived up to that billing, assisting on 18% of his teammates' shots while on the floor. Pointer had explosive nights against St. Francis and Florida Gulf Coast, filling the stat sheet up with blocks, steals, assists, and defensive rebounds. Pointer needs to find more ways to produce; his effort has been solid, but he remains offensively quiet, looking to others to attack.
Meanwhile, Amir Garrett has also been less involved on offense, especially in comparison to his first game of the season. Garrett has been much the same as last year - a bit of a dirty work player, a hardworking driver who can draw fouls.
One wonders if he and Pointer will make more of an impact against conference teams that play man-to-man, or with Jamal Branch in the fold. Both players are quick, can leap, and can finish at the rim, but aren't as good at generating their own shots.
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