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TOPIC: LJ Figueroa

LJ Figueroa 1 month 3 weeks ago #293219

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St. John’s
6-5 195 lb RSSO SG
34.2 mpg, 21.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.2 spg, 0.4 bpg, 1.4 tpg, 64.1 eFG% (stats for JUCO Odessa College)

LJ Figueroa has had a few twists in his road to high major basketball. Coming out of high school, Figuerora was rated as a 4-star by most services and was usually ranked towards the back of or just outside the top 100. He committed to low major powerhouse New Mexico State despite offers from a few high majors. He enrolled early but never played for the Aggies. Head coach Paul Weir and staff were poached by in state rival New Mexico and Figueroa decided to transfer. Possibly encouraged by academic concerns, Figueroa ended up going the JUCO route where he was an instant star at Odessa College. He led Odessa to the NJCAA tournament and earned a First Team All American recognition. There was some question on whether or not Figueroa would need one or two years of JUCO but he managed to get himself eligible in one and quickly joined the Red Storm.

At every stop on Figueroa’s path, he has had the reputation of a scorer. He is both a crafty slasher and a deadeye three-point shooter. As a former four-star recruit he was a man amongst boys at the JUCO level, averaging over 20 points per game with eFG% in the mid-60s. One opposing JUCO coach described him as having a “crafty old man” game. The transition from JUCO to Big East is a steep one. Plus, St. John’s is lousy with guards this year but Figueroa’s scoring ability should demand a significant role. He should start alongside Shamorie Ponds, Mikey Dixon, and Justin Simon giving the Red Storm one of the most lethal backcourts in the nation. His presence on this list is assuming that Mustapha Heron will not be eligible for this coming year. If Heron were to be granted a waiver, this would force Figueroa to the bench, but what a bench player to have if you are St. John’s.

painttouches.com/2018/08/20/top-50-playe...he-big-east-50-41-3/
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LJ Figueroa 1 month 3 weeks ago #293220

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The writer thinks we are going to start 4 guards? Possible, but I doubt it, although I would expect all of them to see significant playing time.

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LJ Figueroa 1 month 3 weeks ago #293222

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Anthony Mattia wrote: The writer thinks we are going to start 4 guards? Possible, but I doubt it, although I would expect all of them to see significant playing time.


I think Keita starts regardless. We need to at least show some token inside presence.

The writer was correct about one thing, though. LJ's starting status probably rests on Heron's eligibility. Figure the three starters back from last year will reclaim their roles, plus Keita, equates to only one more spot. Expect Figueroa to get it if Heron is not cleared.

Either way though, to have someone like Greg Williams coming off the bench (and possibly Josh Roberts too), is a major upgrade in the depth department. That's something Mullin has not had in his time here.
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LJ Figueroa 1 month 3 weeks ago #293223

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I think, if Heron is eligible, we are going to see Ponds, Simon, Heron, Figueroa, and Clark getting a lot of playing time together. We will be giving up height, but few teams will be able to run with us, Keith is the wild card, he has to show that he is willing to rebound and play defense. Dixon and Williams give us depth at guard. If Ellington or Robert's can provide useful minutes up front, we should be fine.

NCAAOR bust.
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Last edit: by panther2.

LJ Figueroa 1 month 3 weeks ago #293224

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panther2 wrote: I think, if Heron is eligible, we are going to see Ponds, Simon, Heron, Figueroa, and Simon getting a lot of playing time together. We will be giving up height, but few teams will be able to run with us, Keith is the wild card, he has to show that he is willing to rebound and play defense. Dixon and Williams give us depth at guard. If Ellington or Robert's can provide useful minutes up front, we should be fine.

NCAAOR bust.

Agree totally Panther! Keita does have a bit of a rep wanting to drift to perimeter for jumpers, not where we want him. Hopefully he avoids that for most part & as you said, also realizes we can really benefit from dedication to rebounding.

Now get back to your vacation! :)

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Last edit: by Paultzman.

LJ Figueroa 1 month 3 weeks ago #293225

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panther2 wrote: I think, if Heron is eligible, we are going to see Ponds, Simon, Heron, Figueroa, and Simon getting a lot of playing time together. We will be giving up height, but few teams will be able to run with us, Keith is the wild card, he has to show that he is willing to rebound and play defense. Dixon and Williams give us depth at guard. If Ellington or Robert's can provide useful minutes up front, we should be fine.

NCAAOR bust.


There are two Simons? Who is Keith? So many questions

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LJ Figueroa 1 month 3 weeks ago #293227

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Paultzman wrote:

panther2 wrote: I think, if Heron is eligible, we are going to see Ponds, Simon, Heron, Figueroa, and Simon getting a lot of playing time together. We will be giving up height, but few teams will be able to run with us, Keith is the wild card, he has to show that he is willing to rebound and play defense. Dixon and Williams give us depth at guard. If Ellington or Robert's can provide useful minutes up front, we should be fine.

NCAAOR bust.

Agree totally Panther! Keita does have a bit of a rep wanting to drift to perimeter for jumpers, not where we want him. Hopefully he avoids that for most part & as you said, also realizes we can really benefit from dedication to rebounding.

Now get back to your vacation! :)

So Keita really is a replacement for T. Owens. :) Don't really need him to realize things, need coaches to insist on things and that goes for all the players.
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LJ Figueroa 1 month 3 weeks ago #293228

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Windy City Johnny Fan wrote:

panther2 wrote: I think, if Heron is eligible, we are going to see Ponds, Simon, Heron, Figueroa, and Simon getting a lot of playing time together. We will be giving up height, but few teams will be able to run with us, Keith is the wild card, he has to show that he is willing to rebound and play defense. Dixon and Williams give us depth at guard. If Ellington or Robert's can provide useful minutes up front, we should be fine.

NCAAOR bust.


There are two Simons? Who is Keith? So many questions


Safe to assume he meant Marvin since he's not listed in his post. And he's 100 percent correct. We need to play our top five players if Heron is eligible. And Keita is not in the top 5.

Clark is jacked enough to grab rebounds for us, so he just needs to commit to it.
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LJ Figueroa 1 month 3 weeks ago #293236

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L J S A wrote:

Windy City Johnny Fan wrote:

panther2 wrote: I think, if Heron is eligible, we are going to see Ponds, Simon, Heron, Figueroa, and Simon getting a lot of playing time together. We will be giving up height, but few teams will be able to run with us, Keith is the wild card, he has to show that he is willing to rebound and play defense. Dixon and Williams give us depth at guard. If Ellington or Robert's can provide useful minutes up front, we should be fine.

NCAAOR bust.


There are two Simons? Who is Keith? So many questions


Safe to assume he meant Marvin since he's not listed in his post. And he's 100 percent correct. We need to play our top five players if Heron is eligible. And Keita is not in the top 5.

Clark is jacked enough to grab rebounds for us, so he just needs to commit to it.


Yes LJSA, Clark looks lean, mean & lethal, certainly capable of banging underneath a bit.
Team, with Heron (which I actually 'expect', with all fingers crossed!), looks very deep, and if Keita and Clark bang the boards, we should be very tough to beat.
Ponds, Simon, Heron, Clark, Keita, Figueroa, Dixon, Trimble/Williams,with snippets from Roberts/Earlington.
Running 7 - 8 men deep on most nights.
Sweet.

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LJ Figueroa 1 month 3 weeks ago #293240

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I don't recall seeing this top 50 analysis the last two years. Fun to read. I will look forward to the next installation. Will be interesting to see whether they are including Heron as one of the five (assume they won't since he is officially not eligible at this point) and if not, who the next SJU player will be (Dixon or Keita).

Good off season diversionary material; Thanks as always Paultz!
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