Rick Pitino says Kadary Richmond is 'jump shot away from playing for the Knicks'

The Red Storm head coach has high praise for his newest point guard
Jan 6, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; St. John's basketball guard Kadary Richmond (1) reacts after a
Jan 6, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; St. John's basketball guard Kadary Richmond (1) reacts after a / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The college basketball world -- specifically the Big East Conference -- was given the official news on Tuesday that the St. John's basketball program landed Seton Hall transfer Kadary Richmond in one of the biggest additions the sport has seen this offseason.

The Brooklyn native was considered as the top player to enter the transfer portal by multiple recruiting outlets and returns home to New York for his final season of eligibility.

However, it was only 28 hours prior that Utah guard Devion Smith announced he would be joining the Red Storm as well, and the addition of Richmond now creates one of the best backcourt tandems in the league, which has Rick Pitino ecstatic.

"Kadary Richmond is a player I admired so much in the Big East," Pitino said on X.

"He’s a great jump shot away from playing for the Knicks. Awesome talent and we are so excited to have him."

Richmond was named as a First Team All-Big East player after averaging 15.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 2.2 steals per game -- all of which were career-highs. He averaged 14.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 2.6 steals in three games against St. John's this season.

"[Simeon Wilcher], Deivon [Smith], and now Kadary [Richmond], along with our young talents, is a dream backcourt," Pitino continued. St. John's will welcome Jaiden Glover, a Top-60 recruit, and Greek prospect Lefteris Liotopoulos to its freshmen class this season.

It was a surprise that Richmond never entered his name for the 2024 NBA Draft when he decided to enter the transfer portal. It had been a common theme among players this offseason, but the shooting numbers are the biggest area of concern for the newest Johnnie and his professional prospectus.

Kadary Richmond shot a career-low 27-percent from 3-point range on the most attempts he's taken throughout his four years in college (17-of-63). Becoming a more efficient shooter from the perimeter will be at the top of the priority list for Richmond and Pitino this offseason.

While there is still time to iron out any areas of concern, St. John's is feeling great about its chances to compete at the top of the Big East this season and return to the NCAA Tournament.