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D’Angelo Harrison, Jakarr Sampson to return to St. John’s next season

Steve Lavin, D'Angelo Harrison

St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin talks to St. John’s guard D’Angelo Harrison (11) in the first half of their NCAA basketball game at Madison Square Garden in New York, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)


It’s not often that you see a player get suspended for the remainder of the season and return to the team the following year. Generally speaking, that suspension is usually a way of kicking someone off the team or forcing the player to transfer or go pro.

Many thought that would be the case with St. John’s guard D’Angelo Harrison, who was suspended on March 1st and missed the final six games of the season. But both Harrison and head coach Steve Lavin told reporters on Monday that the plan is for Harrison to return next season.

"[Harrison’s] gotten off to a strong start, both in his response to the suspension and in his academic and workout responsibilities as well,” coach Steve Lavin said Monday evening. “Couldn’t be more pleased for this stage of the process, in terms of him working his way back into the fold.”

Harrison, who averaged 17.8 points as a sophomore, later said that his suspension was the result of a string of smaller issues and insubordination. “I just violated a bunch of team rules,” things like being late for a bus or not shaving on game day, he said.

The other big news for the Johnnies is that Jakarr Sampson, the Big East Rookie of the Year, has decided to return to school instead of head to the NBA. He averaged 14.9 points and 6.7 boards this season, and when combined with the addition of Orlando Sanchez and top 30 recruit Rysheed Jordan, the Johnnies might have a team capable of making a run at a tournament bid in 2014.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.