WATCH NOW - Media Day Interview with Coco Hart
WATCH NOW - Media Day Interview with Sky Lindsay
WATCH NOW - Media Day Interview with Shenneika Smith
The BIG Picture
St. John’s returns nine letterwinners and four starters from a team who finished the season 15th in the AP rankings and No. 18 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll, the highest rankings in program history. The Red Storm is coming off of its best season in school history, finishing the year 25-7 overall, a 13-1 home record and tying the program mark in BIG EAST wins with 12. The 25 wins was the Red Storm’s highest win-total since 1982-83. St. John’s made its fifth appearance in the NCAA Tournament, advancing to the second round with a 65-47 win over Princeton. The NCAA tournament bid was its fifth postseason appearance in six years. Adding to the nine returners is six newcomers who can provide key depth as St. John’s looks for one finest season to date.
Junior forward Da’Shena Stevens is well-known throughout the league as a force to be reckoned with, but this season the rest of the country could take notice. An Associated Press All-American Honorable Mention team pick last season, Stevens will be among the top players in the country this year. An All-BIG EAST First Team selection in 2009-10, Stevens led the team in scoring (14.3 ppg) and rebounding (7.6 rpg). Guards Shenneika Smith (12.9 ppg), Nadirah McKenith (5.0 apg, 2.2 spg) and Sky Lindsay (6.9 ppg) also will be critical components.
Guard Kelly McManon and forward Joy McCorvey have both graduated and will be missed. McManmon finished her career as the program’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made (219) and averaged 7.6 points. She also ranked ninth among all players in the nation during 2009-10 with a 44.5 3-point field goal percentage, connecting on 69-of-155 attempts. McCorvey started in all 32 games last season and totaled 120 during her career. She averaged 7.2 points and 7.2 rebounds last season while shooting 51.6 percent from the field.
Coming off its fifth NCAA Championship appearance, the Red Storm were on the brink of advancing to their first Sweet 16 berth. An overtime loss at then-No. 11 Florida State will serve as building block for a team and a program that could have a banner year in 2010-11. Under the direction of ninth-year head coach Kim Barnes Arico, the Red Storm have a solid core of returning talent. Barnes Arico enters the year just eight wins behind Joe Mullaney, Jr. (currently an assistant at Villanova) for the most wins in school history.