Lost in the shuffle of St. John’s’ 2015-16 season was the quandary over Marcus LoVett Jr.
At the onset, it was believed that he was going to be competing with fellow freshman guard Federico Mussini for the position of point guard on the St. John’s roster, potentially giving the Red Storm, at least on paper, two options for the point and shooting guard positions, and less worry over how the offense will be conducted.
The uncertainty over LoVett last season was his eligibility. In November, as the season was beginning to unfold for the Red Storm, their fight to try and incorporate LoVett into the roster was beginning as well. Just days after their win against Wagner to start the season, the NCAA ruled that LoVett was ineligible to play, but allowed to practice, thus creating a significant hole at point guard for the Red Storm in the process.
By the point of the NCAA’s ruling, St. John’s had exhausted most of their resources in the appeals process for LoVett’s inclusion, and instead turned to legal counsel to overturn the ruling.
In December, it appeared albeit briefly that LoVett was to be cleared to play and moved from partial eligibility to being fully eligible. Around the time of this, and if it had gone through, he would have begun his Red Storm career in a slate of games against Incarnate Word, Niagara, and Syracuse. In the end though, it was not meant to be, as matters of health in the form of a nagging knee injury would eventually lead to St. John’s to drop his eligibility case as the impact of his knee injury would have just kept him off the court further.
The end result was that the position of point guard for the Johnnies would be a continual hole for the Red Storm the rest of the way, as Mussini would never fully gain composure of it due to him being relatively ill-suited for the position, and LoVett would have to wait in the wings until the start of the 2016-17 season.
Well the heady days of the start of the 2016-17 campaign are soon upon us in the coming weeks, and Marcus LoVett Jr. will finally get to have his time to shine at point guard. Finally giving the Red Storm a natural point guard, something they have been lacking due to LoVett’s absence and since Rysheed Jordan left the program at the end of the Steve Lavin era.
It also means that Mussini will be slotted back over to his more natural position at shooting guard, giving the Red Storm a rather interesting dual-guard threat.
There is a bit of hype around the Top 50 prospect from Morgan Park High. LoVett brings a bit of experience that can go a long ways for their still relatively inexperienced team. While they do have a season under their belt, the addition of LoVett brings what could best be described as a comfortable composure at point, and most likely the answer to St. John’s’ turnover troubles on the offensive side.
It will definitely be interesting to see how the start of his career at St. John’s unfolds and what Marcus LoVett Jr. can bring to the team as well in the months to come.