#110 St. John's Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

St. John’s Red Storm
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #110
Conference Rank: #9 Big East
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St. John’s made their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2015 last season, yet the season still felt relatively disappointing. The Red Storm rode an easy non-conference schedule to a 12-0 start to the season but went just 8-10 in conference play. St. John’s swept Marquette and beat Villanova once, but were inconsistent and lost too many games to the bottom teams of the Big East. Then, after the season ended Chris Mullin stepped down as head coach and Mike Anderson was hired to replace him. It will likely take another few years before Anderson has the Red Storm competing for an NCAA Tournament appearance again.

2018-19 Record: 21-13, 8-10
2018-19 Postseason: NCAA Tournament
Coach: Mike Anderson
Coach Record: 0-0 at St. John’s, 369-200 overall
Key Departed Players:
Shamorie Ponds, Guard, 19.7 ppg
Marvin Clark, Forward, 10.5 ppg
Justin Simon, Forward, 10.4 ppg
Mikey Dixon, Guard, 5.9 ppg

Bryan Trimble, Guard, 2.4 ppg
Sedee Keita, Center, 2.1 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Mustapha Heron, Senior, Guard, 14.6 ppg
LJ Figueroa, Junior, Guard, 14.4 ppg
Marcellus Earlington, Sophomore, Forward, 2.1 ppg

Greg Williams, Sophomore, Guard, 2.0 ppg
Josh Roberts, Sophomore, Forward, 1.2 ppg
Key New Players:
David Caraher, Sophomore, Forward, Transfer from Houston Baptist
Julian Champagnie, Freshman, Forward
Johnathan McGriff, Freshman, Guard
Nick Rutherford, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Monmouth
Damien Sears, Junior, Forward, Transfer from Junior College
Ian Steere, Sophomore, Forward, Transfer from NC State
Eli Wright, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Mississippi State
St. John’s heavily relied on their five starters last season and only two of them are back with the team this year. Mustapha Heron had a strong first season at St. John’s as the second leading scorer. Heron averaged 14.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.1 steals as a junior. This year, Heron is the most experienced returning member and should be the Red Storm’s leader. LJ Figueroa is the other returning starter from last season. Figueroa averaged 14.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.8 steals as a sophomore. Figueroa looks primed to have a big-time season as an upperclassman. Marcellus Earlington, Greg Williams and Josh Roberts all played sparingly as freshmen and could see an uptick in minutes this season. The Red Storm will have five transfers eligible to play this year. Eli Wright is a former four-star recruit who spent two seasons at Mississippi State where he failed to ever fully establish himself. David Caraher spent one year at Houston Baptist where he averaged 16.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists. Nick Rutherford is a grad transfer from Monmouth and originally from Florida Atlantic. Rutherford has averaged 7.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals throughout his career. Ian Steere started his career at NC State last season, but only played one game before electing to transfer. Damien Sears started his career at Jacksonville before playing junior college for one season. Sears and Steele give the Red Storm a couple of big bodies in their frontcourt. St. John’s has two quality starters returning, but after that the roster is a lot of question marks. Mike Anderson will be hoping the new and young players come along quickly in his first season with the Red Storm.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 77.1 (64th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 74.8 (261, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.0 (144, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.5 (162, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.5 (90, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.7 (107, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.9 (133, 6)
Rebound Margin: -5.9 (336, 10)
Assists Per Game: 13.9 (135, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.5 (19, 1)