D'Angelo Harrison

St. John’s suspends leading scorer D’Angelo Harrison for remainder of season

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One day after St. John’s received good news in regards to the status of forward Orlando Sanchez, head coach Steve Lavin suspended his leading scorer for the remainder of the season.

Sophomore guard D’Angelo Harrison has been suspended for conduct detrimental to the team, and he will miss the Red Storm’s final three regular season games as well as the Big East Championship and any postseason games following that.

“I had a productive meeting with D’Angelo yesterday. He has a bright future in basketball and I’m optimistic his time away from our team will be of value,” Lavin said in the release.

On the season Harrison, who was a Big East All-Rookie Team selection last year, averaged 17.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game and shot 39.4% from the field (31.5% 3PT). Harrison had one of his worst outings of the season in the Red Storm’s loss to No. 23 Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon, scoring just six points on 1-of-12 shooting.

Harrison scored 20 points or more in 13 of his 27 games and earlier this season became the 48th player in the history of the program to reach the 1,000-point mark. As a freshman the Missouri City, Texas native scored 544 points, surpassing Erick Barkley (500 points in 1998-99) for the highest point total by a freshman in St. John’s history, and also set a school record with 76 made three-pointers.

With Harrison in the fold the Red Storm (16-11, 8-7) were a serious longshot to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. Without him the odds are about as close as they can get to being insurmountable without being declared as such, as Jamal Branch has struggled with injuries of late. That means sophomore Phil Greene IV is the lone guard remaining in the rotation who is capable of creating off the dribble.

But what about 2013-14? Simply suspending Harrison leaves the door open to a return, but according to multiple reports he’ll need to earn the opportunity to return to the program due to what’s been termed as a “pattern of behavior.”

If all available players (including Harrison) return to Queens next season the Red Storm would be right at the 13 scholarship mark, which would lead to Lavin and his staff having to make room if they were to land someone like guard Rysheed Jordan (also considering Temple and UCLA).

But regardless of what the future may hold, without Harrison the Red Storm’s chances of earning an NCAA tournament bid don’t look good.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Louisville’s Rick Pitino on allegations: ‘We will get through this’

Rick Pitino
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville coach Rick Pitino remains defiant that his program will survive the allegations in a book by an escort alleging that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.

Pitino said Tuesday that the Cardinals “will get through this the right way.”

The coach told a packed room at a tipoff luncheon that he understands the motivation behind Katina Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” but questions the need for the alleged activities given the talent his program has produced.

Pitino added, “We will find out the truth, whatever it may be, and those responsible will pay the price.”

Georgia Tech lands Class of 2016 guard

Brian Gregory
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Georgia Tech picked up its third Class of 2016 commitment on Tuesday as the Yellow Jackets landed a pledged from three-star guard Josh Okogie.

The 6-foot-4 guard is considered the No. 143 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016 rankings and Okogie played with a very talented Team CP3 in the Nike EYBL. In 22 games this spring and summer, Okogie averaged 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.

Okogie joins three-star wing Christian Matthews and four-star big man Romello White in head coach Brian Gregory’s Class of 2016 at Georgia Tech. The group is definitely a solid influx of talent with some coming from successful grassroots programs.