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Lindy's College Basketball Preview 2014: positive on the Red Storm

John Alber

Lindy's Sports Annual is a bit less negative about St. John's than the Sporting News preview - and even less negative than the Blue Ribbon preview.

But the magazine is down on the Big East, with lines about how the Big East slipped in status in the break from the football-oriented schools, remarking on the Big East's TV ratings (though Paint Touches makes the strong point that historical precedent means the first year for ANY network is weak.)

"The middle is strong," Michael Bradley writes, "but perhaps not strong enough, as St. John's, Seton Hall, Providence and Creighton should be successful, but perhaps not NCAA Tourney material."

(Yes, that's two "perhaps"-es in one sentence.)

St. John's Predicted finish: 2nd

All-conference team member: D`Angelo Harrison (1st team); Chris Obekpa (2nd team); Rysheed Jordan (3rd team)

Their take: "The frontcourt gets figured out and the Storm slip into the NCAA Tournament."

Key stat: 10.7 turnovers/ game. Noting the few turnovers, Lindy's remarks that the Johnnies are better able to maximize efficiency on offense.

Top newcomer: Adonis Delarosa - if in shape, his low post play should complement the backcourt well. [ed. note: don't know that I agree with this.]

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The Red Storm is (are?) making progress, but the trajectory isn't as high as the fans would like. If enough things fall right, the Johnnies should reach the NCAA Tournament.

St. John's is loaded in the backcourt, though Rysheed Jordan has to cut down on turnovers and be a better shooter from behind the arc.

Phil Greene IV can score but needs to be more accurate, Jamal Branch is "steady" but scoring is limited to drives, as is Sir`Dominic Pointer - who can also set up teammates and be a disruptive defensive force.

St. John's needs help from a combination of the experience Chris Obekpa - the only experienced big man on the roster; Christian Jones - who can't replicate Jakarr Sampson's numbers, Lindy's says; Adonis Delarosa, noted for his soft touch; and Keith Thomas, who brings needed strength inside. Amar Alibegovic is mentioned as a late signee, noted as a "skilled forward."

In conclusion: Lindy's notes that Lavin admits he's been focusing on the 2015 and 2016 recruiting classes but is not surrendering the season. St. John's has the guard talent to be a factor but needs creative scoring production from the frontcourt.

Your thoughts about this preview? More or less accurate than the others?