Yesterday afternoon, Hofstra transfer Tareq Coburn shared that he had committed to play for St. John’s in the upcoming season.
Coburn will be taking the either Grand Central Parkway or the Southern State Parkway (or even the Long Island Railroad, but I digress) to St. John’s Queen campus to join a largely brand new Red Storm roster.
Tareq’s role will transition from a relatively high-usage player on a team that finished fourth in the Colonial Athletic Association to an important role player on a St. John’s team with hopes of competing for a conference championship.
For Hofstra last season, Coburn started in all 21 games in which he played. Tareq averaged over 15 points per game, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game. More than half of his shot attempts came from deep, but Tareq is more than capable of driving past defenders who choose not to close out properly.
Coburn brings with him some much needed sharpshooting for the Johnnies, as the lefty shot nearly 40% from beyond the arc. Even if Julian Champagnie returns to Queens, Champagnie, Stef Smith and Coburn will be the only ones on the current roster to have shot over 30% from deep last year in college basketball.
Not only is the shooting success important, but as seen above, the Rosedale, New York native has a smooth stroke off the catch which will be important with Posh Alexander and Julian Champagnie ideally being the top usage players of the St. John’s offense.
Additionally, Tareq will likely be in the mix of players either competing for the backup ball-handler role or be part of a ball-handler by committee with Montez Mathis, Stef Smith, and Dylan Addae-Wusu.
As shown, Coburn is a crafty ball-handler with a knack for getting downhill and into the paint. Of his 208 attempts last season, 134 of them came from three, and 55 came at the rim. Additionally, Tareq attempted 4.8 free throw attempts per game last year, leading to a Free Throw Rate of over 48%.
Evidently, Tareq spent little time in the midrange area and was either taking a shot from beyond the arc or getting productive looks at the rim. However, a growth opportunity for Tareq will be to convert that craftiness into easy shots for teammates. Tareq averaged 0.9 assists per game last season for Hofstra, which could increase in his time at St. John’s due to the Red Storm’s active ball-movement under Mike Anderson.
Finally, Coburn competes defensively — a necessity to play in Coach Anderson’s 40 Minutes of Hell. Coburn’s defensive effort led to him getting more than a steal per game last year.
While the shot still went in in the above, it is demonstrated that he can and will fight over screens, recover, and contest.
Like all of the other transfers into St. John’s basketball program this season, Coburn comes from a school that played at a sluggish pace. Hofstra ranked 192nd in pace last year with 70.7 possessions per game, considerably slower than St. John’s 14th ranked 76.7 possessions per game. While Tareq had sufficient conditioning to play 33 minutes per game for the Pride, that conditioning will need to pivot to being more up-tempo for likely fewer minutes.
In short, the Red Storm added a competitive, crafty shooter to a team that was sorely lacking firepower from deep.