Among the freshmen for St. John’s this season, point guard Omar Cook has been the focal point.
First he drew up the winning play against Kentucky. Now three games into the new season, he has already set a St. John’s record.
In the Red Storm’s (2-1) 92-62 win over Stony Brook Saturday night, Cook had 17 assists. He set a new record for assists in game by a St. John’s player eclipsing Mark Jackson’s previous feat of 16 against Providence on Feb. 3, 1986.
Cook wasn’t the only freshman to get into trhe act for St. John’s. Willie Shaw reminded everyone why Head Coach Mike Jarvis recruited him.
He started out shooting 6 of 11 with 16 points at the half. He would finish with a team high 22 points. Jarvis wasn’t surprised at Shaw’s performance.
“He is getting better everyday, ever since the second half of the Kansas game,” Jarvis said. “He’s a special player.”
St. John’s controlled the game from the opening tip. Within the first six minutes, the Red Storm was up 10-6. Following a timeout Willie Shaw hit a three pointer. That shot began a 20-7 run for St. john’s that would put the game out of reach making the score 30-13 in favor of the Red Storm.
At halftime St. John’s had a 52-31 led by Cook with 11 assists and the team shooting 55 percent from the field.
The second half would be more of the same as the Red Storm cruised to the win. With 9:18 remaining in the second half Cook recorded his record-breaking assist when he alley-ooped to Alpha Bangura who dunked the ball with authority to put an exclamation point on the game.
Cook’s record-breaking performance caused Stony Brook Head Coach Nick Makarchuk to compare him to Kenny Anderson and Stephon Marbury.
“I came here following a lotof great stars like (Mark) Jackson, Erick (Barkley),” Cook said. “And to be in the same category as those great players is great. And to be compared to Kenny Anderson and Stephon Marbury (by Macarchuk), it’s great to be in that company.”
In addition to Cook and Shaw, Anthony Glover had another standout game scoring 18 points. Besides scoring in the low-post he connected on a few medium range jumpers.
“He has picked up from last year, being in charge of the paint,” Jarvis said. He is developing a nice face-up game,”