St. John’s basketball: Mike Anderson knows last season was productive

St. John's basketball head coach Mike Anderson. (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images)
St. John's basketball head coach Mike Anderson. (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images) /

St. Johns’ basketball head coach Mike Anderson knows his team took some blows last season but he views it as a productive season for the Red Storm.

The 2019-20 season was a mixed bag for Mike Anderson as his first season as the head coach of the St. John’s Red Storm.

Other than a slip-up against a very good Vermont team and a tough loss at the hands of Arizona State, it was a perfect non-conference slate for the Johnnies, headlined by wins over West Virginia and a neutral site win against Arizona in San Francisco.

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Things took a turn for the worse once Big East play started as the Johnnies just won three of its first 15 conference games but the tide started to turn again as the regular season came to a close.

Anderson’s team gave then No. 12 Villanova all they could handle at the Finneran Pavilion before blitzing No. 10 Creighton at Carnesseca Arena for a 30-point victory.

St. John’s won two of its last three games to close the regular season and then used a 23-0 run to defeat Georgetown in the First Round of the Big East Tournament, and led Creighton by three in the quarterfinals before the season was canceled due to COVID-19.

While the team suffered many close, agonizing losses during the regular season, head coach Mike Anderson views it all as a positive since his team finally learned to close, and win, these tough games in the latter stages of the season, highlighted by the win over the Hoyas and in the regular season finale against Marquette.

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In an interview with Andy Katz of the NCAA and FOX Sports, Anderson said that for an inexperienced team and an inexperienced Big East head coach, the team was able to learn a lot from the rough patches last season and it will only help the Red Storm going forward into 2020-21.

Many will say that the Big East had its best season since realignment in 2019-20 with a potential for seven teams reaching the NCAA Tournament and two players (Myles Powell and Markus Howard) being named as First Team All-Americans.

Anderson highlighted the core of players that will be retuning to Queens in addition to the high-profile recruiting class that the Johnnies will be bringing in as more reason for excitement in the upcoming season although the Red Storm are still facing the impending NBA Draft decision of junior wing LJ Figueroa.

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As many stars are leaving the Big East and St. John’s should return close to a full roster, Mike Anderson could be in store for a special season starting next November.