St. John's basketball lands USC 7-foot-1 center Vince Iwuchukwu from transfer portal

The Red Storm have its first transfer addition of the offseason
USC v Stanford; St. John's basketball transfer center Vincent Iwuchukwu
USC v Stanford; St. John's basketball transfer center Vincent Iwuchukwu / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The St. John's basketball program has its first addition of the offseason after getting a verbal commitment from USC transfer center Vince Iwuchukwu.

Iwuchukwu, who stands 7-foot-1, was also being courted by SMU, led by ex-USC head coach Andy Enfield, and a potential return to USC with new head coach Eric Musselman.

He fills an immediate role on the St. John's roster, replacing star center Joel Sorinao. However, the addition of Iwuchukwu does not necessarily eliminate the Red Storm from adding another center in the transfer portal, such as Rutgers' Cliff Omoruyi.

Basketball is still new to Vince Iwuchukwu, who didn't start truly focusing on the game until his freshman year of high school and excelled quickly, becoming a 5-star recruit, ranked as the No. 25 player in the Class of 2022, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

He averaged 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game last season with the Trojans as he participated in his first full season of college basketball after suffering from a cardiac arrest incident prior to his freshman season.

The incident, which happened on July 1, 2022, kept Iwuchukwu out for the first 16 games of the season and he was not cleared to return to practice until December. He would average 5.4 points and 2.5 rebounds per contest in 13.8 minutes to finish his freshman season.

After his rookie year, he underwent a lumbar discectomy but did not miss any time entering his sophomore season.

St. John's also has 7-foot freshman center Khaman Maker joining the roster next season as Rick Pitino continues to build a formidable defensive frontcourt that can alter shots at the rim. Zuby Ejiofor, the Johnnies' backup center this season, is expected to play power forward next year.

Vince Iwuchukwu has two years of eligibility remaining and the Red Storm now have four vacant scholarships.