St. John’s basketball head coach Mike Anderson in love with 2020-21 team

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. John’s basketball head coach Mike Anderson seems to be in love with his 2020-21 team as the Red Storm prepare for the season.

Mike Anderson spoke glowing about his team at Big East Media Day as the head coach gears up for his second season as the head coach of St. John’s.

The 2020-21 season will be the 19th season as a head coach for Anderson, who still has not had a losing season, and it doesn’t envision his first losing season coming in this strange college basketball year the country is preparing to embark on.

Despite losing key starters Mustapha Heron and LJ Figueroa, Anderson sees his returning players, who all saw valuable time and experience last season, chipping in to carry the scoring load.

Julian [Champagnie] will be better, Greg [Williams Jr.] will be better, we got a lot of freshmen coming in. Posh Alexander’s gonna be an exciting player for us, so is Vince Cole and Isaih Moore,” Anderson said.

However, the leader of the Johnnies also said the team has been dealing with injury as St. John’s has yet to have a full-team practice due to injuries.

One of those key injuries Anderson mentioned was junior college standout Vince Cole who suffered a knee injury and has been sidelined for three weeks, but the team is hoping to get him back soon.

Greg Williams Jr. is the only player who has not missed a day with an injury and Anderson said his confidence is at an “all-time high” entering his junior season.

Mike Anderson mentioned that the Louisiana could make a jump where he is an All-Big East player in March, despite the team not placing anyone on the Preseason All-Big East Teams.

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Anderson could not stop singing the praises of George Washington graduate transfer Arnoldo Toro, “I’ll tell you what, I like what Toro brings to the table. He brings maturity, he does whatever it takes to help the team win.”

John McGriff, a redshirt freshman, who did not play last season because of shoulder surgery could fill a Nick Rutherford-like role for the Johnnies as Anderson explained how he was practicing very well and is another tough defender and ball-handler for the team.

St. John’s also was predicted to finish in 9th place in the Big East Preseason Coaches Poll, something that Anderson doesn’t put too much stock in, citing Creighton winning a share of the regular season title despite being picked to finish in 7th during the preseason.

“It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” Anderson said regarding the preseason poll, “I don’t take it personal. I always tell my guys it’s not the start of the race. We got popped upside the head (last season) and it took us a while. All that means is we gotta continue to work and prove we can be the best.”

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Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard also was surprised where St. John’s was ranked saying, “I think a lot of people are sleeping on St. John’s. They’re going to be much deeper, and I think they’re getting used to playing the way Mike (Anderson) does.”

St. John’s opens its season on November 25 in Queens in its multi-team event against an opponent yet to be determined.

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