It didn’t look good for the St. John’s Red Storm early on, but the Johnnies overcame a 15 point deficit and took down the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 69-58.
More than just a victory can come away from this game as far as possible stories or narratives go. Not only did the Red Storm have a new fancy starting rotation – D’Angelo Harrison, Max Hooper, Phil Greene, JaKarr Sampson and Chris Obekpa — but they showed the ability to play defense in the second half.
Harrison led all scorers with 21 points (on 4-10 shooting, 1-3 from three and 12-13 from the line). The volume-shooter was not alone in all things St. John’s awesome related, however. The usual suspects did their usual things. Obekpa blocked six shots, Hooper made a pair of threes and — most importantly for the short term — Sampson was able to put his horrid foul against Penn State (the three-point foul) behind him and score all of his 16 points in the second half.
And guess what? Rysheed Jordan scored points! Four points in 17 minutes to be exact.
This also seems like the closest thing Steve Lavin has to a set rotation. The only real big question mark going forward is Jordan — who might just need more time to develop or just isn’t as good as anyone originally thought. But still, the minutes were distributed fairly evenly between the Johnnies and the most important players seemed to be on the floor at the most important times. Which, you know, makes sense.
It was also really nice to see Lavin go with some pressure on the defensive side of the ball. Especially in the second half, where Lavin had his players pressing, creating turnovers and capitalizing on the fact that they have more athletes than Willy Wonka does Oompa Loompas.
All and all, well, a 5-2 start isn’t great, but it’s not horrible either. Be positive, my friends.