Sophomore D’Angelo Harrison has been suspended for the remainder of the 2012-2013 season for “conduct detrimental to the team,” according to the team.
The third leading scorer in the Big East will miss all remaining regular season games, as well as the Big East tournament and any postseason games. Head coach Lavin described the suspension as a culmination different factors that he wouldn’t disclose, but said this decision wasn’t based solely on any singular action.
“It was just a coaches’ decision, that it’s in his best interest at this juncture to take a time out and get some distance from basketball.” Lavin said.
Lavin said that Harrison told him that he wanted to return to the St. John’s basketball program and finish his degree at the University. That encouraged the coach, who said that Harrison beat him to the punch in the conversation regarding the guard’s future.
“He’ll be able to earn his way back through having a good spring and summer and have momentum going into next year,” Lavin said.
The players were informed of the decision around 4:00 p.m. yesterday shortly before hearing of senior Orlando Sanchez’s eligibility success.
“We love him to death and we wish him well,” sophomore Sir’Dominic Pointer said. “We want him to come back soon, but we’re still in the middle of the season; we have to keep playing. Other people have to step up.”
Lavin likened the decision to different parents having a wide range of thought processes for raising their children.
“We had what I felt was a very productive heart-to-heart conversation,” Lavin said. “Just kind of laying out the bright future he has, what’s at stake and it’s on me as his head coach to get him to become the full expression of who he’s capable of becoming.”
For now, the remaining members of the Red Storm will continue on to Providence for the first of the final three regular season games before the Big East tournament. The team still holds onto the belief that they can compete for a bid in the NCAA tournament by the end of stretch, even without their de-facto leader.
“We just all need to step up, rally as a family and move forward,” sophomore Jamal Branch said.
When asked whether they thought they could still make the tournament, both Pointer and Branch had positive outlooks.
“100 percent,” Pointer said.
“Most definitely,” Branch added.