Nov. 26, 2012
QUEENS, N.Y. - St. John's freshman forward JaKarr Sampson and sophomore guard D'Angelo Harrison were each honored by the BIG EAST Conference on Monday after helping the Red Storm to a 2-0 week. Sampson was named the league's Rookie of the Week while Harrison picked up his second-straight weekly Honor Roll mention following Red Storm wins over Holy Cross (Nov. 21, 65-53) and Florida Gulf Coast (Nov. 24, 79-68).
Sampson averaged 16.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game across the two victories, which included a 20-point, seven-board effort in Wednesday's pre-Thanksgiving victory over the Crusaders. Sampson connected on an impressive 62.5 percent of his field goals last week while drilling both of his free throw attempts, dishing five assists, making four steals and blocking two shots. Four of his 11 total rebounds came on the offensive end of the floor.
The No. 31 overall prospect in the Class of 2011, the dynamic Sampson has begun to display his prowess with a team-leading 6.2 rpg to go along with 12.3 ppg and a pair of preseason dunks that were selected as ESPN SportsCenter Top 10 plays. Sampson's rebounding and scoring averages rank tied for 16th and 26th, respectively, among all BIG EAST players, and his 1.7 rejections are tied for 11th.
The weekly honor marks the fourth of Harrison's career, as the sharpshooter was also named to the Honor Roll last week on Nov. 19. He was the BIG EAST Rookie of the Week on Jan. 9, 2012, and received his first weekly conference honor roll mention on Feb. 6 of last season.
Harrison averaged 18.5 ppg, fired at a 41.0 percent clip from the field, splashed in 44.0 percent of his shots from long range and grabbed 4.5 rpg, with five of his nine total rebounds on the offensive end. His 20 pts vs. FGC marked his fifth 20-point effort in six games this season, and the 17th of his career.
A preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team selection, Harrison is currently the league's second-leading scorer at 21.2 points per game, and his 92.3 percent success rate at the free throw line also ranks second among all BIG EAST players. Harrison's 2.5 made 3-pointers per game are fifth in the conference, and he holds the team lead and is listed 12th in the league with a 1.8 steals per game average.
Harrison is currently firing at a 44.0 percent clip from the field and a 37.5 mark from beyond the arc. Harrison's season-high of 27 points came in STJ's Charleston Classic loss to Murray State (Nov. 16). He is also contributing 4.5 rebounds per contest to his prolific scoring numbers.
St. John's (4-2) plays host to new South Carolina head coach Frank Martin and the Gamecocks (5-1) in Queens on Thursday, Nov. 29 as part of the second-annual SEC/BIG EAST Challenge (7:30 p.m., ESPNU). All fans are invited to participate in the St. John's Blackout by wearing black, and the first 2,000 fans will receive a free Blackout t-shirt courtesy of Ridgewood Savings Bank.