St John’s Red Storm
2006-2007 Record: 16-15 (7-9), 11th
3/7/07 Marquette Big East Tournament L 67-76
Returning Statistical Leaders:
11.9 ppg – Anthony Mason Jr.
5.9 rpg – Anthony Mason Jr.
5.6 apg – Eugene Lawrence
|Starting Lineup:||Key Stat:|
|PF||Justin Burrell||6’8||Fr.||#1 ranked Post-graduate in nation|
|F||Anthony Mason Jr.||6’7||Jr.||6 FT attempts per game|
|G/F||D. J. Kennedy||6’6||Fr.||1 = PA state titles his father won|
|SG||Larry Wright||6’2||So.||Only 1 of 5 playable ’06 recruits|
|PG||Eugene Lawrence||6’1||Sr.||35.4 minutes per game in conference|
Key Player Losses: Lamont Hamilton and Avery Patterson.
The courageous Hamilton managed a nice career with limited physical gifts.
Leading scorer amongst the guard returnees, Avery Patterson bolted the Big East for DII Tarleton State. His absence leaves SJU in a transition year again. If every year is a transition, does that then become the standard?
Impact Newcomer: In a perfect world, gobs of these rooks would be battling for the title of Freshman of the Year.
Though his impact will not be immediate, Malik Boothe should be the best of the class this year. The Geno Lawrence era is winding down to the amusement of many of fans. Boothe is the future at the point. New Yorkers love a good point guard. Because he works so hard on the defensive end and looks to distribute, Boothe will find plenty of playing time in this his first year.
Omar Cook and Erick Barkley both came from Christ the King to St. John’s as Boothe is doing. Hopefully, Boothe stays longer than both.
Tough Question: Can Anthony Mason, Jr. be a dominant Big East player?
This season there are few options. With the transfer of Quarran Calhoun, the experience is once again a problem. Mason, Jr. is well-respected and works hard most of the time. This year he will be exposed greatly. Coach Norm Roberts hopes he will not be overexposed or revealed to have already reached his ceiling halfway through his college career.
Too Much PT: Eugene Lawrence.
Lawrence is a steadying influence for the Johnnies. That said, he does not need to be on the floor over 35 minutes a night. His shot accuracy, endurance, and mental focus will increase with more rest. Coach Roberts should have new opportunities to spell EL this year.
Get Him on the Floor: Those who felt they deserved to play more left. Three potential starters transferred out in the off-season.
Point Guards’ Impact: Eugene Lawrence is a strong guard that has experience playing in a dual-point backcourt. In high school, he shared the ball with Sebastian Telfair. Obviously, in this case the word shared is loosely used.
Should Coach Roberts decide to run Malik Boothe alongside Lawrence, there is precedence.
Expectations: Rob Thomas. More than anything Thomas is just delaying the failure of expectations.
The nearly 21-year old freshman has been around campus for years. First he was a partial qualifier, meaning he had to be a student before he earned the student-athlete moniker.
He has done that.
Then, while ramping up towards his debut season, Thomas tore his ACL, LCL, and lateral meniscus. The plan is tentatively a January return. Judging by the late March tears, the chances of Thomas showcasing his true game this season are once again remote.
As an aside, the mere fact that Rob Thomas is in a college is nothing short of a miracle. The guy is diagnosed dyslexic, borderline homeless, and began to read and write four years ago.
Final Word: Eight freshmen. Two will have to start regardless. Even if Greg Oden were one of the newbies, the Johnnies would struggle. He isn’t. They will.
Tags: St John's