May 21, 2008

St. Johns May Notebook (Part 1)

Roberts Gets the Point

With Red Storm point guard Eugene Lawrence graduating, St. John's head coach Norm Roberts knew he had to find another lead guard to join Malik Boothe on the 2008-2009 roster. Roberts believes that his two spring signees, Quincy Roberts and TyShwan Edmondson, will both contribute at the backcourt position. "Quincy Roberts can play a little bit of point but TyShawn would be the main guy we would look at to back up Malik," said Roberts, as he added that "all of our perimeter guys have point guard skills. There will be times when Paris Horne will bring it up this year as well as (Anthony) Mason (Junior). Once we get into our motion offense, we have perimeter players and we have post players, so it really doesn't matter (who brings the ball up)."

Shooting a Concern for the Red Storm

The offensive end of the floor was a weak spot for St. John's in the 2007-2008 season, as Roberts' squad was dead last in the Big East in points per game and only shot 41% from the floor this season. The loss of sharpshooter Larry Wright, who shot 43% from the floor and over 40% from beyond the three point arc, will further hurt the Johnnies as they seek to climb out of the Big East cellar. "We will miss Larry's shooting from the perimeter" said Roberts. However he believes that his newcomers can help to fill the void left by Wright's decision to transfer. "Both Quincy and Tyshwan can score the ball and they can shoot it decently from the outside," said the coach going into his fifth year as the head coach of the Queens school. "DJ (Kennedy) shot the ball better towards the end of last year, Paris Horne increased his outside shooting ability and Malik (Boothe) is really working hard in the gym. It needs to be a collective effort in shooting the ball better from the perimeter."

Coach Not Worried About Newcomer's Abilities

With the Queens school failing miserably on the recruiting trail in the New York City area in 2008, Roberts went out of the area to pull in two guards that he believes will make an impact on his young team. While these two recruits may fill much-needed voids, the question must be raised of whether their playing abilities will be enough to make an impact on the Big East level, especially Kentucky-native TyShwan Edmondson. Dayton and Western Kentucky recruited the 6-4 Edmondson before committing to play for Roberts in late-April. While both of these programs have seen recent success on the court in their respective conferences, will he be able to compete day in and day out on the high-major level? "If you look to see whose signing guys right now, everybody is getting guys that maybe were considered mid-major players, everybody," said Roberts via telephone, as he claimed that he doesn't recruit players in that manner. "I don't look at guys in that way, I look at them as players that can help your team. Tyshwan is extremely athletic, he's long, he can pressure the ball and he can get into the lane."

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