Aug. 11, 2011
QUEENS, N.Y. - Throughout the preseason, RedStormSports.com brings you a new weekly feature called "Starting Five," a five-minute interview with each of the nine new members of the St. John's men's basketball team as they begin their Red Storm careers.
Head coach Steve Lavin's 2011-12 St. John's squad will feature the consensus No. 3 recruiting class in the nation, but will be the youngest in 104 years on the STJ hardwood and will rank among the youngest in NCAA Division I history. For Lavin, the 2011-12 group marks the fourth time in his career he has assembled a top three class - in 1998 and 2001 Lavin recruited the No. 1 class in the nation while at UCLA, and his 1997 class ranked second nationally.
With one returning scholarship letterwinner in junior Malik Stith, the Red Storm will feature at least nine newcomers, a group comprised of seven freshmen, one sophomore and one junior. STJ will look to its highly-rated 2011-12 recruiting class - featuring six recruits ranked in the Top 100 in the nation - to assist in replacing 96.3 percent of its scoring and 97.8 percent of its rebounding in the coming season.
A smooth, deft lead guard, the 6-2, 170-pound Chicago native Phil Greene scored 24.5 points per game with 6.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 3.0 steals to lead IMG Academy to a 35-16 record as a senior in 2010-11 and take squad MVP honors. Noted for his quickness and playmaking skills on offense and in transition, the floor general/shooting guard has the ability to get into the lane and pull up, or dish and create for others. A hard-nosed defender, Greene adds length and speed to "Chicago toughness" which gives him the ability to guard perimeter players. He participated in the NeXt All-American Classic on April 3 in Chicago, scoring nine points and partnering with future St. John's teammate Norvel Pelle to lead the Got NeXt squad to a 109-100 victory. Greene scored 11 points in the April 30 Chicago United Hoops Classic benefiting the Norm Van Lier Scholarship Fund, a contest which pits Windy City high school stars from the West Side against standouts from the South Side, like Greene.
"Phil will be a valuable addition to our backcourt," said Lavin at the time of his signing. "He has a strong work ethic, and has displayed an aptitude for both scoring and sound decision making. His length, speed and quickness makes him a nice fit for our uptempo style of play."
Fans can visit the new RedStormTix.com to make a deposit or request 2011-12 season ticket information, which will be available this month. Student Season Tickets are now available for $99, and order forms can be found on RedStormTix.com or at the Carnesecca Arena Ticket Office. Fans can join the Red White Club by visiting RedStormSports.com and clicking on the link to "Giving" to visit the all-new Red White website.
UP CLOSE WITH PHIL GREENE