Long and lanky, Tariq Owens is a centerpiece for Chris Mullin’s Red Storm. With the right combination of height and athleticism - even if a little skinny - Owens fits what St. John’s wants to do very well.
Owens has some burgeoning skills, but his main impact will come through blocked shots. But can he stay on the floor?
By the numbers
Tariq Owens, shooting and rate percentages, all games
Tariq Owens non-shooting stats, all games
Tariq Owens, shooting & free throw rate stats, conference play
Tariq Owens non-shooting stats, conference play
Three Things About Tariq Owens
He’s an underrated rebounder. Despite being skinny, Owens grabbed nearly 20% of available defensive rebounds - and was definitively the best on the team on the glass. He was active, used his length well, was not afraid of contact and had good timing.
Efficient in limited touches. Owens has a game that doesn’t lend itself to being a go-to, back to the basket forward, or a stretch-four that gets lots of touches. And because of that, sometimes he’s an afterthought on offense. But Owens is always active, especially in transition. Which results in dunks like this one.
Foul trouble. Will he have a better complement on defense this season? Last season, his man-to-man defense sometimes exposed a lack of strength. Coupled with the fouls, Owens was not a defender that could always stay on the floor. With a bigger defender next to him who could hold position, would Owens be more effective and more able to stay on the court?
Owens has been very good for St. John’s - a smart find from the staff who needed a big man who can run. He wasn’t highly regarded coming from Tennessee, but proved to be an efficient, sometimes game-changing, forward for Mullin’s team.
He has worked on hitting a mid-range jump shot, which could open up some opportunities for him from the free throw line, where he has been spectacular for a big man. Shooting 81% indicates that he has the kind of soft touch to actually hit those jump shots.
Owens will continue to own a role on the squad in rotation with Marvin Clark II, Kassoum Yakwe and Amar Alibegovic. But if he can keep his energy while dialing back the fouls, he could be an even more major complement to the St. John’s attack.