It's been a rough few weeks for St. John's. They've lost five out their last six games. (Three of those losses came to ranked teams, while the other two came at the hands of Northeastern and Detroit.) Last week, Steve Lavin, who coached the Red Storm in four of their first five games this season, said he wouldn't be returning to the bench until he regained the necessary stamina after having prostate cancer surgery in October. And today brings word that sophomore point guard Nurideen Lindsey plans to transfer to another school at the end of the semester.
In a statement released by the school, Lavin said it was "a mutually agreed-upon decision." Lindsey, meanwhile, explained in the same statement why it didn't work out:
"I came to St. Johns for a couple of reasons. One was to be close to my mom, whose health has been up and down due to some past experiences. The second was to play for Coach Lav. In both instances it has not worked out how I envisioned. I think Coach Lav is an amazing coach, and person. He could have taught me so much," said Lindsey. "I love St. John's and appreciate all the love and support from the staff and school. I think this team will be special. I think what I'll miss most about St. John's is miss [sic] my teammates. Those guys are like my brothers. So I will continue to support St. John's and my brothers. Thank you for the memories, regardless of how brief."
The story of Lindsey's upbringing had become familiar to those who follow the Red Storm. Via the Daily News:
Lindsey comes from tough circumstances in the West Philadelphia neighborhood where he grew up. Two of his brothers were murdered. After the his younger brother, Halim, was shot in 2009, Lindsey spiraled into depression. He did not play organized basketball for a little less than two years before enrolling at Redlands [Community College in Oklahoma] and reviving his career.
Lindsey, in his first season with St. John's this year, is averaging 11.8 points per game (third highest on the team), and leads the Johnnies with 2.9 assists a game. It's also worth noting that he'd been averaging nearly 30 minutes per game on a team that mostly has relied on just a seven-man rotation. St. John's next plays on December 17 against Fordham, as part of Madison Square Garden's annual Holiday Festival.