Women’s basketball head coach Joe Tartamella opened the media day festivities by discussing his season outlook and answering questions about the roster and expectations.
“We have a great group of young ladies that have been working hard,” said Tartamella. “As we look forward to our new league, our new venture, all of us are excited and we know how important it is for us to be good early.”
Lavin then took center stage and discussed the benefits of having both experience and depth on the roster and answered questions about the athletes that will make their St. John’s debut this season.
“As a team we have a nice balance of size, strength, skill, quickness and depth,” said Lavin. “After three years of strong recruiting classes we are now in better position to match up with the teams we’re going to face in a highly competitive Big East Conference.”
The St. John’s men return 91.6 percent of its scoring and 88.3 percent of its rebounding in 2013-14, including 2013 Big East Rookie of the Year JaKarr Sampson and a game-changing shot blocker in Chris Obekpa, who led the nation in rejections with a 4.03 blocks per game.
The Red Storm also adds 2011 junior college All-American forward Orlando Sanchez, sophomore transfer sharpshooter Max Hooper and redshirt senior big man God’sgift Achiuwa to its active roster, in addition to Top 5 national point guard prospect Rysheed Jordan, who joined the Red Storm this summer in preparation for the 2013-14 campaign.
The 2012-13 St. John’s women’s basketball team made its fourth-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament after finishing tied for third in the Big East.
The women return three starters and eight total letter winners, including five upperclassmen from the 2011-12 team that went to St. John’s first-ever NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.
Red shirt senior Eugeneia McPherson, junior Amber Thompson, sophomore Aliyyah Handford and seniors Briana Brown and Keylantra Langley all return to help lead the Red Storm. That group of five accounted for 46 percent of last year’s scoring, with Handford averaging 9.4 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.