St. John’s basketball: Three questions as practice officially begins

St. John's basketball guard Posh Alexander (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
St. John's basketball guard Posh Alexander (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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St. John's basketball
St. John’s basketball center Joel Soriano (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

Does Joel Soriano live up to the preseason hype? 

The player with the most buzz surrounding him this offseason in Queens was Fordham transfer Joel Soriano.

Soriano has continued to transform his body and has worked himself into the best physical shape of his life ahead of a pivotal 2022 season.

Mike Anderson also commented before the foreign trip that his starting center has stepped up as a leader, both on and off the court, filling the shoes of the departed Julian Champagnie.

ALSO READ: St. John’s has new leader quickly emerging and blossoming

Soriano took that praise and dominated in the Dominican Republic as he averaged 19.6 points and 13.6 rebounds per game while running the floor with ease and, most importantly, staying out of foul trouble in each game.

The 6-foot-11 center averaged just 6.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per contest in his first season with the Johnnies and struggled staying on the court during Big East games against the best big men in the conference.

The Red Storm feel confident in its front-court players as sophomore O’mar Stanley and senior Esahia Nyiwe have both taken the next steps in their developmental process as well.

However, St. John’s will need Joel Soriano to anchor a paint that has been vulnerable and susceptible to potent front-court players in recent years.