Originally written on College Chalktalk  |  Last updated 11/12/14
In a game featuring the likes of D’Angelo Harrison, Phil Greene, Jason Calliste and Ray McCallum, one would in all likelihood find it safe to assume that Tuesday’s matchup between St. John’s and Detroit would more or less be decided by the play around the perimeter, right? Wrong. No easy buckets against Obekpa and the Red Storm.  (Credit: Vinny Dusovic, St. John’s Athletics) In his first regular season game on the sidelines in nearly a year after missing most of the 2011-2012 season while recovering from prostate cancer, Steve Lavin returned.  As did the guard tandem of Greene and Harrison, the latter of the two coming off the bench.  The duo hoisted up 29 shots between them Tuesday, connecting on 14 for a combined 44 points.The man who stole the show, however, and led the Red Storm to a season-opening 77-74 win over Detroit in Queens, New  York, attempted only six shots. He converted on three. His name is Chris Obekpa and, despite registering just seven points against the Titans, the Centereach, N.Y. native displayed on national television as part of ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon that he ought not be overlooked in favor of fellow freshmen Nerlens Noel (UK) on the defensive end of the floor, as he proved to be a real game changer for St. John’s Tuesday afternoon. To complement his seven points, Obekpa, who was first off the bench along with Harrison for the Red Storm, finished with 11 rebounds, eight of which came on the defensive end, two steals and a team-record eight blocked shots. His real impact became evident in the second half. With 18:14 remaining in St. John’s season-opener, Obekpa checked in, his team down 41-34. Lavin ultimately switched from a man-to-man defense to a 3-2 zone and that’s when it all began to go down hill for head coach Ray McCallum, Sr.’s Detroit team. Obekpa, a top 60 recruit in this year’s freshmen class according to Rivals.com, never saw the pine for the remainder of the contest and racked up four of his eight blocked shots in helping St. John’s on a 43-34 run to close out the game. Obekpa was extremely active, altering shots left and right, but managed to lead a disciplined frontcourt in the final frame, as the Titans got to the line just six times, converting on only four attempts from the charity stripe. Few coaches get giddy with excitement when they look at a roster consisting of 11 underclassmen, four freshmen and seven sophomores.  But with perimeter threats in Greene and Harrison and, if Tuesday’s game against the Titans was any indication at all, a legitimate defensive presence on the low post in Obekpa, Lavin may have a formidable trio of players to build upon going forward in an ever-changing Big East Conference. Just don’t ever look for Obekpa to steal the spotlight offensively. With defensive efforts like the one we saw against Detroit, there’s no need. Related Posts:Women’s Nat’l Basketball Report: A chat with Joe Tartamella of No. 14 Red StormCalipari most underrated defensive coach in the nation, says peer3 things we learned: Xavier vs. ButlerLack of height will impact DuquesneBig East tempo: Keeping pace
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bill Walton has some words of advice for Derrick Rose

Five under-the-radar National Player of the Year candidates

Report: NFL to appeal Adrian Peterson ruling

Dez Bryant's mother in 2012: Dez threatened to knock me out

Full offseason breakdown for all 32 NFL teams

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brandon Bostick received death threats after botched play

Report: Judge rules against Adrian Peterson suspension

Ex-Louisville player charged with rape, sodomy

Hank Aaron 'rooting' for Alex Rodriguez to succeed in return

WATCH: Kevin Garnett welcomed home by Minnesota

Vandy PG has strong words for rival Tennessee

HBO picks up Dwayne Johnson’s pro football series, ‘Ballers’

The key offseason moves for every MLB team

Giancarlo Stanton gets first-ever customized facemask

Ronda Rousey, Arianny Celeste have verbal sparring match

Dallas sportscaster back with another powerful essay

The many parallels of Derrick Rose and Penny Hardaway

Ex-homeless Baylor RB admits he broke rules

Why the Lions should let Ndamukong Suh walk

Schilling goes after guys on Twitter for hitting on daughter

Brad Stevens comments on Rondo benching

Gronk tweets he does not have a girlfriend despite rumor

Craig Sager will return to TNT job in March

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five-round NFL Mock Draft

Key offseason moves for every MLB team

Bostick received death threats after botched play

Rousey, Arianny Celeste get into it

Dallas sportscaster back with another powerful essay

The parallels of Rose and Hardaway

Offseason breakdown for all 32 NFL teams

On Josh Hamilton's addiction and feeling alone

Judge rules against AP's suspension

Why the Lions should let Suh walk

Chris Jones charged with rape, sodomy

Bryant involved in 2011 Walmart incident?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.