Another St. John's basketball transfer portal target commits to Providence

The Red Storm were interested but another transfer prospect lands in Friartown
Nov 20, 2023; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; St. John's basketball transfer portal target Christ Essandoko (22) drives to
Nov 20, 2023; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; St. John's basketball transfer portal target Christ Essandoko (22) drives to / Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

The extent of St. John's interest in Christ Essandoko didn't go as far as Bensley Joseph, but the Johnnies have still seen another top flight player they were intrigued by head to Providence.

Essandoko, the 7-foot center from Saint Joseph's, committed to the Friars on Wednesday afternoon.

It's the second time that the Paris native has committed to Providence after originally committing to the program in October 2021 when it was led by Ed Cooley. However, academic issues arrived for Essandoko and he was released from his National Letter of Intent from the Friars before eventually committing to St. Joe's.

Christ Essandoko played in 25 games for the Hawks this season, starting 14, and averaged 8.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.1 blocks per game on 50-percent shooting from the field.

There were many major suitors after Essandoko and UConn was considered to be a favorite to land him upon entering the portal but with the Huskies continuing its run to another National Championship, Providence went to work and was able to secure the commitment from the center.

Kansas, Creighton, Villanova, Butler, Georgetown, Seton Hall, and Xavier were some of the other schools that tried to land the coveted center.

St. John's never got Christ Essandoko on to campus for a visit but it was a hope that the Johnnies could get him to Queens after the recruiting dead period ends on Thursday afternoon as the program looks for Joel Soriano's replacement.

The Red Storm remain heavily involved with Rutgers transfer center Cliff Omoruyi.

Rick Pitino has five open scholarships he can fill this offseason and is still looking for the team's first addition in the transfer portal after already seeing three players depart to the portal.

The Johnnies are expected to be much more active, beginning this weekend, with filling out its roster for next season.