The St. John’s basketball program has high hopes entering the 2021-22 season.
Expectations are high in Queens surrounding the success of the St. John’s basketball program as head coach Mike Anderson enters his third season at the helm of the Red Storm.
Anderson overachieved in his first two seasons but the Johnnies ended the 2020-21 campaign on a sour note as late season losses to Butler and DePaul, coupled with a Big East Tournament loss against Seton Hall, torpedoed the chance of making the NCAA Tournament for the Johnnies.
However, St. John’s still finished with a 16-11 (10-9 Big East) record and a fourth place regular season finish in the conference, its best since 2000.
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Despite all the success in the season, the offseason was still a rollercoaster in Queens as eight players (David Caraher, Isaih Moore, Vince Cole, Marcellus Earlington, Greg Williams Jr., Josh Roberts, Rasheem Dunn, and John McGriff) entered the transfer portal last season.
With all of the turnover following the regular season, the biggest news of the offseason came on the night of July 4 as star forward Julian Champagnie announced his decision to return to Queens after entering his name in the 2021 NBA Draft.
St. John’s basketball adds plethora of new faces this season
With the returning core of Champagnie, Alexander, and Addae-Wusu, St. John’s added experience players to its roster through the transfer portal, most notably Purdue transfer Aaron Wheeler.
Mike Anderson also brought in Vermont transfer Stef Smith, Rutgers guard Montez Mathis, Hofstra graduate transfer Tareq Coburn, and Fordham center Joel Soriano.
St. John’s basketball added a three-man freshman class as well in Long Island Lutheran standouts Rafael Pinzon and Drissa Traore in addition to O’mar Stanley from Overland Park, Kansas.
St. John’s is hoping to finish higher than fourth in the Big East this regular season and challenge Villanova for the presumptive top spot in the conference this season.
The Johnnies will not have that many challenges in its non-conference schedule before jumping in head first to the deep end of conference play as we will break down and predict each St. John’s game this season.