Who's going to get more minutes as Rysheed Jordan is out on his leave of absence for personal reasons?
Considering this table of minutes of player minutes and usage rates for St. John's:
|Joey De La Rosa||2||4.5||1.5||0.5||24.7||0.0||6.5||0.0||33.9||33.3|
With Rysheed Jordan out for an indefinite period of time, the aspect of his game that St. John's will obviously have the most trouble replacing is his scoring. The Red Storm currently average 71 points per game, and they'll win a good amount of Big East games if they can continue scoring around that for the rest of the year.
But with Jordan gone, someone (or more likely a group of guys) will have to step up to fill in the 14 points per game that are now gone. That said, Jordan was not the most efficient player, shooting a decent 49% inside the arc but only 30% outside the arc and 59% from the free throw line.
Looking to the starters, it's really hard to ask any of them to do any more than they currently are in the scoring department. D`Angelo Harrison, Sir`Dominic Pointer, Phil Greene IV and Chris Obekpa are all averaging career-high points per game, and while Jamal Branch will likely have to step up his scoring, he's a pass-first guard who probably can't be counted on as a major scoring option (although we would like to see him taking more shots with Jordan out).
So the Johnnies will have to look towards their bench to up its scoring, which is something they haven't had to do all season.
Not counting Jordan's 14 points per game, St. John's is getting about 6 points from everyone else on their bench so far this year, and unless they plan on playing their five starters 35-plus minutes per game, they'll need someone on the bench to emerge as a scoring option.
Steve Lavin saw potential in Felix Balamou, Amar Alibegovic, Christian Jones, Myles Stewart, Joey Delarosa, David Lipscomb and Khadim Ndiaye - enough to give them spot minutes. Which player could make an impact today?
Joey Delarosa, active big body
Norman: Joey Delarosa will see minutes. What can he provide? He won't replace anything that Rysheed Jordan does, and is more a backup for Chris Obekpa. But against a physical Butler team, maybe a more traditional lineup with a banger of a big will be an asset against the Bulldogs.
Troy: Joey De La Rosa and Christian Jones are already the first two big men off the bench, but in their limited playing time they'll each need to be a little more of an offensive force under the basket going forward.
Carmine: Another big man that can help the patrol the paint is transfer, Joey De La Rosa. The senior is considered a bruiser because of his physical play on the boards and on defense. He isn't great offensively and struggles from the free throw line but he can bring some energy off the bench.
He came in against St. Mary's when Obekpa was in foul trouble and sparked the crowd with his tough, physical defense against Brad Waldow.
Myles Stewart, sharpshooter
Troy: The first guy off the bench to replace Jordan, in my mind, should be Myles Stewart. He's appeared in 11 of 13 games this season, and although he's not shooting exceptionally well from 3-point range for a guy off the bench, he's shown flashes of value when given the opportunity.
Against Gonzaga in 13 minutes he made one of the two 3's that he shot and grabbed a rebound, and against Niagara the next game he scored 9 points on 3 of 7 shooting and had three blocks in 19 minutes.
He definitely has the potential over time to become a legitimate shooter for this team, and although he's probably going to be thrown into the gauntlet a little early, I'd like to see what he can do in extended minutes.
Carmine: Myles Stewart is not a typical walk-on. Even though he does need a lot of improvement, he is a knock-down shooter who has played some good minutes at points this season. He can provide some scoring off the bench.
Myles started vs Niagara and provided 19 minutes along with 9 points on 3 threes.
Norman: Stewart, while not the defender that Jordan is, does provide some length and helps reshape the Red Storm offense with his ability to hit three-pointers. If he can get hot, Stewart can provide an outside scoring punch that has been inconsistent for the Johnnies.
Felix Balamou, athletic wing
Norman: Felix Balamou has had chances off the bench, logging solid minutes against Seton Hall. Though in those minutes, he did show his defensive skills... and defensive rawness.
But given a little more time, he can provide another above-the-rim body that can alter shots, finish in transition and grab rebounds.
Troy: It seems like in the 10 games we've seen him in this season, Felix Balamou has come in for a few minutes in the first half, made some bad turnovers, committed some questionable fouls, then went to the bench.
He's even more raw than Amar Alibegovic (if that's possible), and although they might have no other options, giving him more minutes could be a big risk.
Carmine: Balamou is not a talented offensive player but he is a solid and capable defender. He has shown that he is one of the better on ball defenders on the team but is a liability scoring wise.
Balamou came in off the bench vs LIU Brooklyn and hit a big And 1.
Christian Jones, versatile big man
Carmine: With Jordan out, the Johnnies can experiment playing lineups that feature two bigs. That's where Christian Jones comes in. The sophomore is not very quick on his feet but he brings sneaky athleticism and can pull some bigs away from the basket to create high-low opportunities.
Troy: Jones, who's field goal percentage is at 64% right now, has the potential to average maybe five points per game for them, especially in Big East play if Obekpa gets into foul trouble early.
Norman: Christian Jones, despite a redshirt year and a small bench, still hasn't seen many minutes. Is he in Lavin's doghouse? Or just not aggressive enough on the floor? As a hybrid wing/ forward, this game might be a chance to show how rugged he can be - and how he can be a real asset going forward, with Rysheed in or not.
Amar Alibegovic, stretch-four & big body
Troy: Amar Alibegovic could be another option off the bench, but we've seen how raw he is, and in my opinion, it would be wishful thinking to expect anything more than what he's giving them so far this season.
It looks like he's definitely been having trouble adapting to the game overseas, and I just don't know if St. John's fans (or more importantly, Lavin) would feel comfortable giving him meaningful minutes right now.
Carmine: The freshman from Italy has not provided much this season but his strength is stepping out of the paint and shooting the jumper. The stretch four could get hot from beyond the arc and provide more scoring for the Johnnies.
Khadim Ndiaye and David Lipscomb:
Carmine: These two probably won't crack the rotation even with Rysheed Jordan out.
Norman: David Lipscomb could see minutes as a backup point guard. Lavin redshirted him, so I assume he saw some rotation potential in the point guard from Georgia.
If the guys listed can up their scoring just a little bit and average, say, 10-15 points per game instead of 6 for the Red Storm going forward, then that can somewhat alleviate the loss of Jordan. It won't be easy to replace his scoring, but it's a possibility.