St. John's basketball guard Nahiem Alleyne returns to UConn for first time since transfer

St. John's basketball guard Nahiem Alleyne is returning to UConn for the first time since his transfer from the Huskies to the Red Storm.

Dec 10, 2023; Brooklyn, New York, USA;  St. John's Red Storm guard Nahiem Alleyne (4) drives past
Dec 10, 2023; Brooklyn, New York, USA; St. John's Red Storm guard Nahiem Alleyne (4) drives past / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
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It'll be a reunion for St. John's basketball guard Nahiem Alleyne when the Johnnies take the floor on Saturday night inside the XL Center in Hartford.

But do not expect any big ceremony as the UConn Huskies welcome back its National Champion after the team mailed his championship ring to him prior to the season beginning.

Alleyne transferred from UConn to St. John's this offseason for his final year of eligibility and his reasoning was simple -- Rick Pitino.

"I knew Coach Pitino would put me in the right positions," Alleyne explained of his reasoning to join the Red Storm.

He started for the first time since opening night on Wednesday against Xavier in the Big East opener and logged a season-high with 33 minutes while going for 15 points, four rebounds, two assists, and a steal.

Alleyne is averaging 7.6 points per game with the Red Storm, slightly higher than he did with the Huskies but he will still live in history with the program regardless of the outcome on Saturday (8:00 p.m. ET, FOX).

"A lot of intensity. No 'buddy-buddy' ball. We can't be friends out there," he said of what he expects when he meets his former teammates on the court.

He is anticipating the same welcome from the Huskies faithful, in what is already a sold-out crowd. "I hope it's some love, but I don't really care too much because I am on the opposite team."

"I don't expect them to cheer me on every time I score or get in the game. At the end of the day I'm here with St. John's."

As for the rest of the Red Storm, it's a game to send a statement to the rest of the country, and the Big East, that they are for real and to be taken seriously under Rick Pitino after a roller coaster start to the season.

St. John's (8-3) has looked much more connected defensively in its last two victories but will have a much different challenge in trying to defend the Huskies, a team Pitino has referred to as a "machine."

No. 5 UConn (10-2) is coming off of its most disappointing performance of the season when it lost by 15 points, 75-60, on the road against Seton Hall in the league opener.

"At the end of the day, I'm on the opposite team and I'm here to kill them and get a 'dub. Simple as that," Alleyne concluded.

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