St. John’s basketball: Iona standouts enter transfer portal

St. John's basketball recruiting target Walton Clayton Jr. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball recruiting target Walton Clayton Jr. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports) /

The St. John’s basketball program will be interested in an Iona transfer. 

The wheels are officially turning within the St. John’s basketball program and eyes have turned to the transfer portal.

Only hours after Rick Pitino was officially introduced as the head coach of the Johnnies on Tuesday afternoon, some of his best players at Iona, Quinn SlazinskiWalter Clayton Jr., Nelly Junior Joseph, and Cruz Davis entered the transfer portal.

Clayton Jr. is the biggest name to enter the transfer portal out of New Rochelle after being named as the MAAC Player of the Year this season while posting 16.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game while shooting an incredible 45.5-percent from the field, 43.1-percent from the 3-point line, and 95.3-percent from the free throw line.

The Lake Wales, Florida native made 72-of-167 3-pointers and 102-of-107 free throws.

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St. John’s has heavy interest in adding the 6-foot-2 guard to its roster although Kansas, Ole Miss, and Florida have made contact, according to multiple reports.

Pitino said during his introductory press conference that he could have as many as eight new players on the St. John’s roster next season and the only player definitely returning will be center Joel Soriano.

Soriano was named a captain of the 2023-24 Johnnies and the Hall of Fame coach also stated that he would love to return seldom used forward Drissa Traore due to his character and leadership.

St. John’s basketball with plenty of roster options

St. John’s has not made any contact with Quinn Slazinski, Nelly Junior Joseph, or Cruz Davis and it seems unlikely that either one of those three players would follow its head coach to Queens.

Junior Joseph should receive interest from other major conference programs but the return of Joel Soriano to the Red Storm makes it hard to envision the Nigeria native taking a lesser role and joining the Johnnies.

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Slazinski began his career at Louisville under head coach Chris Mack before transferring to Iona as Davis averaged 6.5 points per game in freshman season with the Gaels.

Iona named Fairleigh Dickinson’s Tobin Anderson as its next head coach.

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