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Sporting News picks St. John's as hard to predict, middle of pack Big East team in 2014-15

The Johnnies have a lot of storylines; Sporting News wonders if they have answers.

John Alber

What does the Sporting News preview say about St. John's? Last year, the publication was harsh on St. John's, predicting a seventh-place finish for the Johnnies that they obviously surpassed. That prediction was low, but correctly predicted a Big East that was a jumble of potentially solid teams all the way to the bottom.

This year? Is the Sporting News selling the Red Storm short again?

Prediction/ superlatives

Predicted finish: 6th

All-conference team member: D`Angelo Harrison

Trending stories

- can Villanova make a deep NCAA run ("that the league so badly needs," says writer Mike Lopresti) and carry the Big East's torch?

- can Marquette and Georgetown bounce back? (They're called "the old guard. Marquette's not that old to the Big East but we get the point.)

- can Butler/ Creighton/ Xavier add some NCAA Tournament "glitter" to the conference?

"The task is to analyze St. John's chances for contention in the Big East," Lopresti begins in his discussion of the Red Storm. "We might as well use Tarot cards."

Overview

The team's many personal storylines are laid out - Chris Obekpa transferring and deciding not to; D`Angelo Harrison's return from the 2013 suspension; Rysheed Jordan's suspension, sick mother and murdered aunt (RIP); Keith Thomas' fight from legal, academic and health problems to get back to junior college and get himself a chance to play on the highest levels.

The Sporting News believes this year has a chance to be less chaotic. D`Angelo Harrison could be one of the league's premier players and scorers if he was more accurate from the field. Rysheed Jordan should improve in his second year. Phil Greene IV and Jamal Branch add depth.

Chris Obekpa is a known quantity as a shot-blocker. Sir`Dominic Pointer has an awesome name and is a defensive presence. Keith Thomas is an excellent rebounder who should be physically ready, and Adonis Delarosa should help.

Can Lavin fit all the pieces together in his fifth season, the Sporting News asks?