St. John’s basketball fills final scholarship with big shot blocker

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

The St. John’s basketball team has filled its final available scholarship for the 2022-23 season. 

After adding guard Andre Curbelo and David Jones in the transfer portal the biggest question surrounding the St. John’s basketball team was whether the program would use its final available scholarship on a shooter or a big man.

That question was answered on Sunday morning.

The Johnnies landed a commitment from 7-foot-1 center Mohamed Keita to bolster its front court.

Keita was a member of the NBA Academy Africa and The Winchendon School (Mass.) while playing on the AAU circuit for the local powerhouse New York Jayhawks.

The newest member of the Red Storm is very raw offensively, a large majority of his points come inside the restricted area, but his defensively abilities are what should make him an early impact player during his tenure in Queens.

ALSO READ: St. John’s lands impact transfer David Jones from DePaul

St. John’s has typically been hurt on the back end of its full-court press with no true rim protector and Keita gives the program a much needed boost in its front court.

Joel Soriano and Esahia Nyiwe are the two current traditional big men on the Red Storm roster as the duo combined to block 2.7 shots per game last season. Sorian, the starting center, posted averaged 1.7 blocks.

St. John’s basketball officially out of room for 2022-23 season

The addition of Mohamed Keita has put a cap on the roster for the Johnnies as he will fill the final open scholarship for the upcoming season.

St. John’s lost four scholarship players this offseason, Stef Smith, Tareq Coburn, Julian Champagnie, and Aaron Wheeler.

ALSO READ: St. John’s hits home run in transfer portal with Andre Curbelo

Smith and Coburn departed due to graduation while Champagnie declared to the 2022 NBA Draft and Wheeler, who will turn 24 years old prior to the start of the regular season, is also looking to purse professional opportunities.

However, St. John’s is only one of ten Division I programs who did not see a scholarship player enter the transfer portal this offseason.

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