With Anthony Mason gone for the season, much of St. John’s scoring load fell on the shoulders of players like Justin Burrell and DJ Kennedy. However, recently one of the Red Storm’s smaller players has stepped his game up.
Paris Horne, the 6 foot-3 inch sophomore guard has been on a tear over the past few games, averaging 19.5 points per game.
Horne’s hot streak began on January 15 against Connecticut, when he scored 24 points in St. John’s 67-55 loss.
Horne was held to seven points against Villanova, but returned to form against Cincinnati, scoring 20 points and pulling down 6 rebounds.
However, Horne’s efforts equaling victories until last Saturday, when Horne poured in a career-high 27 points, including 20 in the first half, as St. John’s held off Rutgers 70-59.
One would expect that Horne, who recently overtook DJ Kennedy as St. John’s leading scorer, would experience a jump in confidence. However, Horne’s as cool as the other side of the pillow.
“My confidence is the same as it’s always been,” Horne said when asked if his confidence was higher.
DJ Kennedy agreed.
“I don’t think he’s taken his game to a different level,” Kennedy said. “Paris always had that in him. This is no surprise to us. We know what he’s capable of.”
After looking at the Horne’s stats, this might not be a surprise. In 18 games, Horne has been held to single digits only three times. Horne has scored 14 or more points nine times, and 16 or more points five.
By comparison, Horne reached double digits only three times during his entire freshman season, with a season of 12 points in a game against Marquette last February.
Horne’s three-point prowess has been on display as well, as Horne has had games of three or more three-pointers six times this season.
In a way, Horne is becoming the team’s most indispensible player, and his three-point shooting is becoming key. In the team’s 11 wins, Horne has shot .441 from beyond the arc (19-43). In contrast, Horne has shot .319 (15-47) in the team’s 8 losses.
Yet Horne’s scoring is not what he’s most proud of. After the Rutgers game, Horne admitted to being more proud to holding Mike Rosario, the Scarlett Knight’s leading scorer, to just five points on 2-5 shooting.
“I know that defense wins games,” he said.