St. John's basketball coach Steve Lavin on Friday suspended leading scorer D'Angelo Harrison for the rest of the season, including the postseason, citing a cumulative pattern of immature behavior detrimental to the team. Lavin said he can earn his way back, and Harrison told him he plans to stay rather than transfer.
"Naturally, D'Angelo was disappointed with the suspension, but I think it's going to be a good thing for him to get some distance from basketball," Lavin said. "Sometimes when a player is removed from the team, there's clarity. He can earn his way back on to this team through having a sustained stretch of good behavior, good conduct and all the things we expect from our players at St. John's."
Harrison, who leads the team and ranks third in the Big East with a 17.8 scoring average, was suspended for one exhibition game, did not start the opener against Detroit and did not start against Baylor on Nov. 18.
Lavin said there was no tipping point that prompted the suspension. "It's the cumulative two-year body of work," he said. "He's done some really good things, but also there's some areas that need to grow, that need to develop. He needs to come of age if he's going to move forward and lead this program."
St. John's (16-11, 8-7) has three more regular-season games, including a tough contest Saturday night at Providence (15-12, 7-8), which has won five of its past six games. The Red Storm's chances of earning an NCAA bid now seem remote.Asked if he suggested transferring to Harrison, Lavin said, "He actually beat me to the punch. He said he wants to finish his collegiate career here at St. John's, wants to get his degree. I said, 'I'm glad, because you've done some wonderful things here, and there's no reason you can't finish on a high note.' "