At times, LoVett has gone a little extra - an extra dribble, extra talk to opponents - but it’s becoming a thing, a bit of personality on the Red Storm.
LoVett, small, quick and talented, is picking up where he left off as a freshman, plus adding a Loki-level of mischief to his repertoire. He has needled guards from Nebraska, Oregon State and Missouri with a mix of chirping and aggressive defense —
But we are here to talk about Marcus Lovett’s game and impact, aren’t we?
So far, he’s been a very good player for the Johnnies. He hasn’t had the on-court offensive impact that Shamorie Ponds and Marvin Clark II have had, partly because of turnovers.
And his game is a little different than what we envisioned when he set foot on the floor of Carnesecca Arena the first time.
There has been a surprising evolution for LoVett, thought to be a point guard with a scoring thirst; he has become strictly a shooting guard, often looking for his shot both off the dribble and when receiving the pass.
LoVett’s ability to hit from outside - 39% from the three, around his mark last season - and his ability to generate shots when others cannot - is hard to fault.
But can the passing return for him - and for the whole team, who found better shots driving to the hoop?
FrankieVision scouting highlights: vs Nebraska
By the numbers
Best game: vs New Orleans, 23 points (7/14), 3 assists, 4 steals, 1 rebound, 2 fouls
Leaderboards: 3rd in Big East in field goal attempts (93), 4th in assists per game (3.8), 4th in minutes played (229)
LoVett is averaging 15 points per game, second on the team, with two rebounds, two steals, a little under two assists per game, along with two turnovers per game. He is shooting 44% inside the arc and 39% from the perimeter.
His free throw ratio is 16% (free throws attempted vs field goals attempted), and about half the rate of last season.
The lack of assists is even more surprising than the lack of free throw attempts, but the numbers match his role. He played a catch-and-shoot guard, playing off of Justin Simon and Shamorie Ponds at the Advocare Tournament, and looked for his shot when the ball was in his hands.
This can work, and has worked - after all, the team is 6-1 and LoVett (and Ponds) can easily generate shot attempts or draw free throws, better than their teammates can. If it works, should St. John’s look to pass more?
Perhaps if, instead of looking to move the ball around the perimeter, Marcus LoVett could work to probe and kick, or probe and pass inside.
Those passes come with risks; and one of the areas for development for both Ponds and LoVett is the need to trust teammates to make plays and catch passes.
What are your thoughts on Marcus LoVett’s game?