clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Projected 2015-16 Starting Lineup: St. John's Red Storm

With a new coaching regime comes lots of new faces at St. John's. Chris Mullin and his crack staff of recruiting assistant have turned the roster over quite aggressively for 2015-16. Mike Hopkins gives us his prediction for the Johnnies' starting 5.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Mullin won't have to wait too long to put his stamp on the roster at St. John's. With the graduation of D'Angelo Harrison, Phil Greene IV, Jamal Branch and Sir'Dominic Pointer plus the Chris Obekpa opting to transfer to points still to be determined and Rysheed Jordan leaving to pursue a professional career amid academic issues, the new head man of the Red Storm, along with assistant coaches Barry Slice Rohrssen and Matt Abdelmassih, had plenty of open roster spots to fill. While the positive is that a coach can bring in "his guys" quicker, the downside is that he still has to field a full team and that can lead to some reaching on players. All things considered I think it's fair to say Mullin, Rohrssen and Abdelmassih should be commended on the job they've done to date. Having said that, the 2015-16 roster only returns 23.8 minutes/game and 4.0 points/game from a season ago. 

Point Guard: Marcus LoVett, Jr. (Freshman)

2014-15 Stats: N/A

This would have been Jordan's job had he not neglected his academics and ultimately left the program to pursue professional opportunities. LoVett, Jr. -- a top 100 player in the class of 2015 -- has his own academic issues and has yet to be cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse. With so much uncertainty surrounding the roster there are other possibilities at this position, including fellow incoming freshman point guard Federico Mussini from Italy.

Shooting Guard: Malik Ellison (Freshman)

2014-15 Stats: N/A

Mullin might have another freshman as an option if he can manage to get top-50 recruit Maverick Rowan committed for 2015. Rowan is currently trying to finish up his academics to declassify from 2016 to 2015. Rowan is also considering Louisville, NC State and West Virginia but his father played at St. John's alongside Mullin. Ellison is another freshman and there is a more experience option at Mullin's disposal with Felix Balamou but Balamou's experience is as a sparsely used reserve off the bench. Mullin may want his young guys to learn in the fire.

Small Forward: Durand Johnson (RS Senior)

2014 Stats: DNP due to suspension

Johnson comes to St. John's as a graduate transfer who will use his final season of eligibility with the Red Storm. He was a starter at Pittsburgh prior to tearing his ACL in January 2014 and being suspended for the entire 2014-15 season for an undisclosed violation of school policy. His best assets are his experience and shooting ability. For a team that is going to be young Johnson should be able to provide some leadership as he will have about as much experience in the St. John's program as almost every other member of the 2015-16 squad.

Power Forward: Amar Alibegovic (Sophomore)

2014 Stats: 1.5 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 14.4 %Poss, 41.9 eFG%, 39.9 TS%, 12.4 DR%

Alibegovic is the last remaining player from Steve Lavin's final recruiting class at St. John's. He played a career-high 17 minutes in a win at Creighton on January 28th and scored a career-high 7 points in the Red Storm's home game against Creighton on February 7th. In total he amassed 37 points in 201 minutes played and shot 34.9% from the field. He is the Red Storm's leading returning scorer. It's possible that Alibegovic could play the center role if Sima isn't physically ready and Mullin could go with a guard-heavy, small-ball lineup next season.

Center: Yankuba Sima (Freshman)

2014 Stats: N/A

Sima is ranked 192nd in the class of 2015 by 247sports.com's composite national ranking. His biggest focus should be on adding strength and he may not have quite enough to be a major contributor in 2015-16. He is the only true big man on the roster right now though so he may get thrown to the wolves early while the Red Storm look to develop the young players on the roster and look to recruit more impact talent in the classes of 2016, 2017 and beyond.

Chris Mullin -- someone with zero experience in coaching -- will have his hands full trying to piece together lineups and deal with substitutions. He and his staff have done yoeman's work to bring in as many bodies as they have after Lavin struggled to bring in eligible and impactful players during his tenure at St. John's. This projected starting lineup is a total stab in the dark right now but most of these players will likely be asked to play large roles on the 2015-16 St. John's Red Storm team.