St. John’s sophomore guard D’Angelo Harrison was suspended early Friday for the rest of the season. Harrison, from Missouri City, TX, was averaging 17.8 points, ranking third in the Big East Conference. Harrison’s suspension is huge blow to the Red Storm (16-11), who need to string together a number of wins in the next two weeks to have a chance at making the NCAA Tournament. Harrison’s suspension now puts more pressure on St. Johns fantastic freshman Jakar Sampson.
St. John’s guard D’Angelo Harrison, the third-leading scorer in the Big East, has been suspended for the rest of the season, the school announced on Friday. Harrison will miss the Red Storm’s final three regular-season games, the Big East tournament, and any further postseason games the team plays. “I had a productive meeting with D’Angelo yesterday,” said St. John’s coach Steve Lavin in a statement released by the school. “He has a bright future in basketball and I’m optimistic his time away from our team will be of value.” St. John’s did not provide a reason for the suspension. Harrison was also suspended for one of the team’s two preseason exhibition games back in November. St. John’s did not officially explain that suspension either, but comments from Lavin and Harrison afterward provided some insight. “I think the biggest, or most important thing, is just channeling his energy in a productive way,” Lavin said. “Just don’t react to things, don’t let your emotions get the best of you,” Harrison said, of what he learned following the preseason suspension. “Just having a better attitude all the time.” Harrison, a 6-foot-3 sophomore from Missouri City, Texas, was averaging 17.8 points per game, highest on the team. Earlier this month, he became the 48th player in St. John’s history to score 1,000 career points — and he did so in just 57 games, tying Daryll Hill as the eighth-fastest in school history. But he was coming off one of his worst performances of the season, shooting 1-for-12 from the field in a 63-47 loss to No. 20 Pittsburgh last Sunday. Throughout the season, Harrison has displayed a propensity to react to officials when unhappy with calls or non-calls. And Lavin has left him on the bench for long stretches when unhappy with his play. St. John’s practices are closed to the media, so reporters aren’t able to observe Harrison’s behavior on the practice floor. The absence of Harrison is a crippling blow to St. John’s chances of making the NCAA tournament. The Red Storm (16-11, 8-7 Big East) were on the bubble — the fifth team on the outside looking in, according to the latest version of ESPN.com’s Bracketology. The suspension also increases the likelihood that Harrison will leave St. John’s after this season — either to transfer to another school, or to turn pro.