St. John’s basketball lands Vermont transfer guard Stef Smith

St. John's basketball transfer guard Stef Smith (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)
St. John's basketball transfer guard Stef Smith (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images) /

St. John’s basketball has landed Vermont transfer guard Stef Smith. 

A major void in the St. John’s basketball roster has been filled with the commitment of Vermont’s Stef Smith.

Smith announced on Friday morning that he would be joining the Johnnies next season as a graduate transfer after four seasons with the Catamounts.

The 6-foot-2, 185 pound Ajax, Ontario native picked St. John’s over other programs that reached out to him, including Providence, UConn, Marquette, Nebraska, Colorado State, Arkansas, Florida, Santa Clara, St. Mary’s, and Mississippi State.

Smith played in 14 games this past season, starting them all, while averaging 13.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game and shot 40.3-percent from the floor and 36.0-percent from three-point range.

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As a junior, Smith shot 42.3-percent from beyond the arc and averaged double-figures in three of his four seasons at Vermont.

Stef Smith now fills one of three open scholarships for St. John’s which were created by the departures of Isaih Moore, Vince Cole, and Josh Roberts into the transfer portal.

The Johnnies also saw sophomore star Julian Champagnie enter the 2021 NBA Draft on Thursday afternoon, but will maintain is colligate eligibility as he receives feedback from scouts and teams.

Head coach Mike Anderson and his staff are committed to adding front court depth with its remaining two scholarships, which was the biggest need on the roster entering the offseason.

St. John’s basketball transfer doesn’t shy away from the big moment

Stef Smith joins a backcourt that is currently comprised of Posh Alexander, Greg Williams Jr., Dylan Addae-Wusu, John McGriff, and Rafael Pinzon.

Smith should be somewhat familiar with the dimensions of Carnesecca Arena as he scored 17 points, two rebounds, three assists, and three steals on St. John’s as a junior in an upset win for Vermont.

As a freshman, the shooting guard set a career high in a loss to Marquette with 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 6-of-6 from 3-point range.

As a sophomore he added 13 points and eight rebounds in a loss to the Kansas Jayhawks on 4-of-8 shooting, 3-of-5 from downtown as well as 24 points on the road against the Louisville Cardinals on 8-of-14 shooting, 4-of-4 from beyond the arc.

In that sophomore season, Smith really emerged as a threat for the Catamounts as he poured in 28 points in the semifinals of the America East Tournament and another 17 points in the championship game.

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Stef Smith also has NCAA Tournament experience as he chipped in 15 points and six rebounds on 6-of-14 shooting, 3-of-5 from downtown, in a loss to Florida State.

In addition to his 17 points against the Johnnies as a junior, Smith also had 13 points on 5-of-15 shooting against the Virginia Cavaliers and added 18 points on 4-of-8 shooting from 3-point range against the Cincinnati Bearcats.

Despite shooting 1-of-8 from beyond the arc in a victory in the America East Semifinals against UMBC, Smith ended with 20 points and eight rebounds on 9-of-17 shooting in what would be the final game of the season because of COVID-19.

In a limited schedule as a senior, Stef Smith’s season high was 27 points in a victory over NJIT.

St. John’s is getting a tough, hard-nosed guard who can really shoot the ball from downtown, something the program has needed since Mike Anderson took over the reigns.

Next. St. John’s forward Josh Roberts to enter transfer portal. dark