St. John’s basketball: Takeaways from disappointing result against Kansas

St. John's basketball head coach Mike Anderson (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball head coach Mike Anderson (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports) /
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St. John's basketball
St. John’s basketball guard Tareq Coburn and forward Aaron Wheeler (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports) /

St. John’s basketball takeaways against No. 8 Kansas

Bench Must Be Utilized Better

The game’s most head scratching decision came with 10:35 left after a red-hot Julian Champagnie brought St. John’s back within three, 64-61, and was removed from the game.

Head coach Mike Anderson said after the loss that Champagnie was tired and needed a breather.

When the forward came back in the game a minute later St. John’s was down eight and all momentum was gone.

The substitution made little sense because Anderson needed to call a timeout to get Champagnie back in the game, something he should have done to get his star a quick rest while keeping him in the game and St. John’s hope of a comeback alive.

Mike Anderson did a similar thing in St. John’s overtime victory over NJIT when the Red Storm led by 16 midway through the second half as he pulled Posh Alexander and Champagnie only to see the momentum stopped and the Highlanders comeback and force overtime.

The situations are similar but different as the St. John’s bench should be able to hold a 16-point lead at home against NJIT while Julian Champagnie, who had been going through a rough shooting stretch prior to Friday’s second half, was anchoring a Red Storm offense that was firing on all cylinders against Kansas.

In order to properly run his style of play Anderson is depending on his bench to provide quality minutes when called upon and that has not happened for a majority of the season.

Dylan Addae-Wusu seems to be the only reliable player coming off the bench for the St. John’s at the moment and Anderson needs more production from his reserve unit in order to run his system effectively and efficiently.