St. John’s men’s basketball team was picked to finish ninth in the Big East but don’t be surprised if they exceeded expectations.
The Big East polls came out last month for the upcoming season.
The St. John’s Red Storm, who finished last season at a dismal 1-17 in Big East play a season ago, was picked to finish in ninth place in the conference in 2017 (second to last).
After how they fared last season, it should be understandable to see why St. John’s would be picked to finish pretty low again.
This season could be a struggle as well, as head coach Chris Mullin will be going through his second year as the team’s leader on a young squad.
However, don’t be surprised if they actually make a big improvement and make noise in the Big East.
I’m not saying that they’ll be automatic tourney bound in March. That might be a month or so away.
However, they should definitely be better than last season’s 1-17 record vs. conference opponents.
Mullin will have most of last year’s guys back. Most of them were freshmen trying to adapt.
His two biggest players will come back in guard Frederico Mussini and center Yankuba Sima. Both of them showed a lot last season and they should take a step up.
Sima is the team’s best shot blocker, rebounder, and inside presence. Mussini will bring the ball up the court while looking for teammates and shooting the long ball himself.
Both of them will get more help cause Mullin got some more recruits.
The main one coming up this season will be Marcus LoVett, who was actually supposed to play last season but couldn’t because of ineligibility. He will be good to go this season.
LoVett is a left-handed point guard who could bring the ball up the court and score from anywhere on the court. He has a consistent jumper and he can run the high screen and roll as a point guard. He is a four-star player with NBA potential as well.
His presence will definitely help and make the Red Storm more formidable.
There will probably be more growing pains for Mullin as he continues to learn in the coaching ranks but after one year, he should definitely have a better feel this season.
Who knows if St. John’s could finish over .500 and be a force in the Big East. Don’t be surprised though if they do.
This season will definitely be a much better one and a step in getting the program back to respectability.