St. John's posted a Red Storm Report player profile on sophomore forward Amar Alibegovic, in which we learn that he was actually born in the United States, looks up to Mirza Teletovic as an idol, and knows he's just scratching the surface of his potential.
"I'm just starting to feel comfortable on the court," says Amar Alibegovic, who grew up in Italy but plays for the Bosnian Under-20 National team. Alibegovic learned about St. John's interest after the Johnnies played five games in Europe two seasons ago - including one against his Stella Azzuri team, where Max Hooper went off for 31 points.
By the numbers, Alibegovic, a 6'9" 235 pound forward, hasn't improved markedly except in terms of minutes on the court. He's slotted in as forward or center for Chris Mullin's team.
Taking 53% of his shots outside the arc - a slightly higher ratio than he did last season in his limited minutes - Alibegovic is a little more accurate, shooting 21% outside the arc, besting last year's 19% mark. He has work to do, certainly, to solidify himself more as a rotational player.
But one thing the Rumble has noticed is that he has added a bit of a dribble-drive game to his repertoire, putting the ball on the floor to put pressure on the big men defending him. That skill could make him dangerous if he can keep the turnovers down, and he can be a player who helps expand the floor for the Red Storm. He has almost doubled his rate of fouls drawn (from 1.8 during last season's conference play to 3.6).
And while he hasn't had many great games for the struggling St. John's squad, he did come up big against Syracuse - 15 points on 5/6 shooting, 3/4 beyond the arc, scored 12 points in the blowout loss to Georgetown, and was solid against Marquette and Providence (10 points in each game).
"Amar's one of the hardest workers," says assistant coach Greg St. Jean. Alibegovic, like much of the rest of the team, seem receptive to learning. Maybe a breakout for the Italian/ Bosnian is just around the corner.