St. John’s basketball: Zuby Ejiofor high-motor, energy embracing new role

St. John's basketball forward Zuby Ejiofor (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball forward Zuby Ejiofor (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports) /

St. John’s basketball center Zuby Ejiofor is embracing his role with energy

It’s never easy to go from a highly touted recruit to a role player off the bench but that is what St. John’s basketball center Zuby Ejiofor is doing with a smile.

The 4-star prospect who spent his freshman season at Kansas has been progressing nicely in his short time with Rick Pitino and the Red Storm and the 6-foot-9 forward is embracing what he brings to the team.

“It’s just a mentality of staying ready whenever my name is called,” Ejiofor said on Wednesday afternoon.

“Everyone wants to score and put the ball in the basket but it’s just about finding a role that suits the team and putting your pride aside a little bit and just working on those little things that will help the team achieve the most success.”

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The Texas native, much like the rest of the team, started to turn a corner after the loss to Michigan as his minutes have increased and he just put together his best outing of the season with five points, seven rebounds, four blocks, and two assists in a 46-point victory over Holy Cross on Saturday.

“Anything that Coach Pitino wants me to do to get minutes on the court — rebounding, blocking shots, and having a high motor to run the floor — that’s what I am here to do,” Ejiofor explained.

He’s averaging 18.8 points and 15.0 rebounds per 40 minutes and is developing into a player that the coaching staff can trust when Joel Soriano needs a breather.

The game is still new to Zuby Ejiofor.

He only played 128 total minutes at Kansas last season and already has half of that (64) in just six games at St. John’s.

“A high motor is something I’ve always had since high school,” Ejiofor continued.

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“It’s just an effort thing and as long as I can beat my opponent down the court, I’m going to get some easy buckets.”

He has taken more field goals and free throws during his time in Queens than Lawerence and, while he still has a way to go on reaching the rebounding numbers he put up as a Jayhawk, he has only scored one less point as a member of the Johnnies.

The continued development of Zuby Ejiofor will be critical to the success of St. John’s not only this year, but in the future as well, and it’s very clear that he is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure the success of the Red Storm.

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