Our next 2017 Scouting Report is on 2016's 55th ranked RPI team, the St. John’s Red Storm!
(Check out all our 2017 Scouting Reports and my 'The Good, The Bad, & the Future' posts here .)
Profile: Since Kieran McArdle graduated after the 2014 season, St. John’s has gone a combined 5-23 in the last two seasons. Even with seniors Eric DeJohn and James Bonanno, the Red Storm could not get anything going in 2016. They lost a tough early showdown to Jacksonville, and defeated Siena and Georgetown for their lone wins on the campaign, with both of those programs also having double digit losses.
2016 Record: 2-12 overall and 1-4 in Big East play. There were bright spots throughout the season, but for the most part, the Red Storm were outmatched in all aspects. Underclassmen such as rising junior attackman Jason DeBenedictis, rising sophomore attackman Declan Swartwood, and rising senior LSM Kyle Skramko provide some help in NYC.
Roster: Without McArdle or even star defenseman Mark DiFrangia, the Red Storm are young, but are also inexperienced for the most part. Skramko led the team in caused turnovers with 13, while returning defensemen Jack McClellan and John Saunders also recorded double digit caused turnovers. DeJohn led the team in assists and points last season, while DeBenedictis had a team high 33 goals. In goal, rising senior Joseph Danaher and rising redshirt-sophomore Michael O’Keeffe split the majority of time in the cage. Each gave about 14 goals a game, but Danaher started 12 of 14 games and had a .454 save percentage, compared to O’Keeffe’s .436 mark. The Red Storm graduate eight seniors, including goaltender Harry Burke.
Conference: The Big East is growing. Outside of powerhouse Denver, we saw Marquette win the conference tournament, along with Villanova stay in the Top 20 for the majority of the season. Georgetown, who St. John’s beat in the regular season finale, started the season ranked, but finished with a 2-12 record, although boasting rising sophomore stud Daniel Bucaro. Providence, a team on the rise, was the final team that reached the Big East Tournament last season. But how much of an impact does it bring to the program with the loss of assistant coach John Galloway?
What They’re Doing This Summer: They’re getting brand new turf on DaSilva Memorial Field!
2017 Outlook: It’s going to be tough to make the Big East Tournament. You would have to think that Denver and Villanova are locks, with Marquette probably in as well. Now it’s a three horse race between the Johnnies, Providence, and Georgetown. I think Georgetown has the most upside with Bucaro and a bunch of young talent in the nation’s capital. But Providence is a huge dark horse to watch for in the near future. I don’t think St. John’s will smell the Big East Tournament next season, but instead, they should focus on bringing in quality talent and developing the program as a whole.
Non-Sequitor: Darryl McDaniels, better known as the D.M.C. in Run-D.M.C., attended St. John’s University in the early 1980s, when Run-D.M.C. started to get big.