St. John’s basketball: Montez Mathis showing potential in battle for minutes

St. John's basketball wing Montez Mathis (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
St. John's basketball wing Montez Mathis (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

St. John’s basketball wing Montez Mathis is making his case for more playing time. 

One of the biggest questions entering the St. John’s basketball season on Monday will be the allotment of minutes from a deep bench unit for Mike Anderson’s team.

Anderson has stated that the best teams he coached in his career have utilized deep benches but it is now the responsibility of the coaching staff to keep the roster happy and find the right combinations of players to pick up victories in Queens.

One of those players that is making his case for more minutes is redshirt senior wing Montez Mathis.

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“I’m a lot more comfortable [in the system],” Mathis said during St. John’s Media Day in mid-October.

“I know what coach expects of me so I just have to go out there every night and just get it done.”

He has certainly gotten it done in the preseason as Montez Mathis, in two exhibition games against Division II opponents, is 9-of-13 shooting from the field and 5-of-7 from 3-point range as he posted 10 and 13 points, respectively, last week for the Red Storm.

The 6-foot-4 wing is battling players such as Rafael Pinzon, Dylan Addae-Wusu, and AJ Storr for minutes entering the season.

St. John’s basketball hoping veteran wing brings two-way dimension to roster

The Rutgers transfer had his moments of brilliance last season for the Johnnies but struggled shooting the basketball as he only connected on 26.4-percent of his attempts from beyond the arc and posted 8.2 points per contest. However, his versatility on the defensive side of the ball is where he can be the most impactful.

“I though [Montez Mathis] was one of the guys that ignited our defense,” Mike Anderson said following St. John’s exhibition win over Adelphi on Wednesday.

“He’s a fifth year guy, so I expect a little bit more out of him.”

It remains unclear on who will fill out the starting five for the Red Storm, next to Posh Alexander, David Jones, and Joel Soriano, as the season opens on November 7 against Merrimack but Montez Mathis has certainly made his case for more minutes in the early part of the season.

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