No games have actually been played, but that doesn’t stop prognosticators from prognosticating. I mean, that is their job or something. So, in a fairly roundabout way, that brings us right to the St. John’s Red Storm. Or, even more so, to what their ceiling is for the season — not their set of expectations.
Those two things are pretty different. We can expect whatever from St. John’s. To finish in the middle of the Big East Conference, make the NCAA Tournament or be a complete bust. Really, it’s just up to you or whoever to set expectations to them — whatever that might be. The ceiling for this team, however, is actually a little easier to take educated guesses at.
Here is what we know. St. John’s has a lot of returning talent. Guys like D’Angelo Harrison, JaKarr Sampson, Chris Obekpa, Phil Greene, Jamal Branch and even more, all bring talent and a veteran presence to the program. Then there’s the newcomers. Guys who not only bring in more talent, but add depth to a St. John’s program that has been severely lacking it for some time now. Those fellas would be Rysheed Jordan, Max Hooper and Orlando Sanchez.
All of that is not even counting the return of God’sgift Achiuwa, Christian Jones and Sir’Dominic Pointer. I guess what I am trying to say is, this team is deep, talented and the best overall Red Storm team (on paper at least) in a long, long time.
What exactly does that mean in lieu of how good this team can be? Well, considering the expectations for St. John’s ranges from the middle of the conference to the second best team in the league — it means the Red Storm can be as good as nearly any team in the nation.
Yes, any college basketball team in the entire nation.
Whether or not they reach those levels of success won’t be determined until, you know, actual games are played. Still, there is nothing that says they can’t. Usually — barring injuries, suspensions or unforeseen issues — a team just needs talented, depth and some solid coaching to be great. The Red Storm can check all three of those fictional boxes off.
That’s not saying they are going to go to the Final Four or even make the NCAA Tournament. What it is saying, however, is that the Red Storm’s ceiling might be as high or higher than any other team in the nation. Heck, maybe their collective noggins will eventually burst through the (fake) ceiling we are setting for them. Can they put it all together is going to be the question.
Impatiently, though, we won’t have the answer until the end of the year.
Me, Twitter @JosephNardone