When Rysheed Jordan committed to St. John’s it was assumed that St. John’s finally had its future point guard for the future. He would be the first top-20 recruit of the Lavin era. So naturally, he plays 15.8 minutes per game. This very same player was the No. 17 overall basketball player in the country and had many in the locker room raising their eyebrows at the natural athleticism shown in practices. Jordan is also the very same player that some teammates said belongs in the class of Duke freshman guard Jabari Parker and Kansas freshman guard Andrew Wiggins.
Jordan finally played crucial minutes in Saturday’s win over Georgia Tech in the Barclay’s Center Classic consolation game. It only took Lavin seven games to do so, or maybe it was the foul trouble by other Johnnies during the game.
After Friday night’s game against Penn State, Lavin said that only playing Jordan for 17 minutes was “Just a minutes thing.”
Just a minutes thing? That’s a statement one would expect when talking about guard Jamal Branch or shooter Max Hooper.
Hooper is coming off of a good weekend in which he went 7-12 from downtown and might have saved his playing career from being buried in the bench like Christian Jones last year.
Rysheed Jordan needs minutes to be a positive on this team. One comparison that comes to mind is D’Angelo Harrison’s freshman year. Hold on a second and hear me out.
Jordan is not the player that Harrison was his freshman year. It’s no secret that Harrison was the better player his freshman year, at least statistically.
But Jon, it’s apples and oranges. Harrison didn’t have the depth on his team like Jordan does now.
I’m not denying that, but Harrison was better served on the court than learning from the bench. Through his first seven games, Harrison averaged 14.3 points per game in 32.4 minutes per game.
Harrison did start in six of his first seven collegiate games; Jordan has started in three games and didn’t play in one game due to his suspension.
The potential for Jordan is a lot higher than others expected from Harrison. However, Harrison wasn’t in the top 20 of ESPN’s high school players. Jordan is. While this team is more loaded than the one of two seasons ago this team has so much talent that it could afford to let him rot on the bench. Jordan is not just another recruit, even though Lavin is playing him like one.