Here at LittyHOOPS, one thing is for certain.
We live and die by the Red Storm. Right
now, as the 2002-2003 college basketball season is about to kick off, the oxygen
is aplenty. Led by the most
underrated player in the country, and my dark horse for Player of the Year, Marcus
Hatten, we expect St. John’s to turn a few heads this season and come March be dancing
Red Storm primed to make their Marcus
MARCUS, MARCUS, and more MARCUS. Last season, led by do-it-all guard Marcus Hatten the Red
Storm surprised many doubters by winning 20 games and receiving a bid to the NCAA tournament.
Despite a first round loss to Wisconsin, St. John’s season exceeded
expectations. With 4 starters
returning, a deep bench intact, and the arrival of a true NYC point guard in
lefty Elijah Ingram, the Johnnies are poised to make a run for the Big East
|SJU Red Storm
Coach: Mike Jarvis
2002 Record: 20-12 (9-7)
Hatten a senior from Baltimore arrived last year as a JUCO transfer and
immediately became the heart, soul, and big time talent of the team.
Coach Mike Jarvis gushes on his performance last year saying,
“Hatten was incredible”. The
untimely departure of Omar Cook for the NBA (or CBA, or his prominent job
flipping ground beef at Burger King as Omar the Cook) left St. John’s without
a true point guard. Hatten, who can
only be described as a shooting guard, took control of the team and spent
the season running the point, as well as shooting, passing, locking down the
opponents top player, creating turnovers, and proving himself to be a true iceyhotstunta. Marginal help came
in the ever-shrinking bulldog Anthony Glover, and a duo of awkward power
forwards who love to shoot 3’s in Donald Emanuel (thank god he’s outta here)
and Kyle Cuffe.
The addition of Ingram drastically improves the dynamics of the squad. A cookie
cutter NYC point guard, Ingram will electrify the Garden with his ability to
dish the ball and get to the basket. This
will allow Hatten to play off the ball and finally get some open looks.
Hatten, who was the first newcomer to ever lead the Big East in scoring,
should be even a bigger scoring threat this year now that opponents can no
longer shine a spotlight on him.
The rest of the Johnnies are a bunch of scrappy role players that will have to
be effective inside. Glover, a grad
student senior gained a year of eligibility by graduating in May.
Although vertically challenged, Glover possesses tremendous strength and
is quite effective when he is patient and doesn’t force things down low.
Sophomore forward Eric King showed promise as the season went along and
may be the next star for St. John’s. King
is hungry around the basket, and can also step back to hit the mid-range jumper.
Junior Kyle Cuffe will come off the bench to provide solid minutes at either
Former walk-on Andre Stanley, Glover (#22), Cuffe
The center position for the Johnnies is scarier then riding the broken
at Coney Island. The three-headed
freak show of Abe Keita, Mohamed Diakite and 7’3” fan favorite Curtis
Johnson must be able to provide some production or the Storm will be forced to
play a small, up-tempo lineup. After
three years of hard work, and numerous surgeries on his crooked feet, Johnson
may be shedding the “project” label from his name and actually contribute as
a behemoth monster inside.
How far can St. John’s really go?
If they can sustain the grittiness and competitiveness of last season,
with a year of experience under their belt, and the promising Ingram
successfully running the show the Johnnies can be one of the most dangerous
teams in the country.
With 6 players hailing from NYC, and the tutelage of wise
head coach Mike Jarvis, the Storm bring a street ball flavor to the court and
are rarely intimidated. Always
exciting, spirited and true, the Johnnies are the best team in college
basketball to watch. Fellow Queens
native and St. John’s fan, the rapper Nas says it best:
heard about it, you see about it
You read about it, it's in your papers
It's in your daily news
New York chronicles, every day…
York state of mind baby, check it out”