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St. John’s Red Storm look to quiet the critics as preseason coaches poll ranks them No. 9

The 2019 Big East Media had a great number of talented coaches and players bless the hardwood at the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden. The St. John’s Red Storm is one team that looks to quiet the critics and continue to bring wins to Carnesecca Arena.

First year head coach, Mike Anderson, looks to continue the Red Storm success of last year. Although last season held much success, he still recognizes the struggles his team may encounter this season.

“There’s work to be done. The inexperience factor, I think we have to make that not be a factor. We need to get our guys inundated in terms of how we want to play, whether through practice or through non-conference schedule, to prepare them for Big East play. I think Mustapha [Heron] and LJ [Figueroa] have been leading this bunch here. Guys are working extremely hard and these guys are picking up on what we want offensively and defensively. For me, we need to make sure that these guys are playing at a high level.”

The Storm are very high on newcomer forward from Chapel Hill, David Caraher. Caraher was the Southland Conference Freshman of the Year, he averaged 16.2 pts and 7.2 boards.

St. John’s has a lot to prove this upcoming season as the Big East Preseason Coaches Poll ranked the Red Storm at #9 with only 19 points. The Red Storm look to direct their offense this year through Senior Guard Mustapha Heron, and Junior Forward LJ Figueroa. Both Figueroa and Heron were listed on the preseason All Big East second team.

The loss of guard Shamorie Ponds will definitely hurt the Red Storm, coming into the 2019-20 season. Ponds was an All Big East first team selection, ranked third in the Big East in scoring (19.7 ppg), second in assists (5.1 ast) and first in steals (2.6), before leaving to pursue a career in the NBA. The Red Storm is also missing Big East Defensive Player of the Year, Justin Simon. There is no doubt that the departure of Ponds and Simon was a major blow to this team.

Mike Anderson has a lot on his plate as him and his team look to turn some heads and make back to back appearances in the NCAA tournament. Last year the Red Storm were able to return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2015 and had a record of 21-13. Although to many this task may seem out of reach, Coach Mike Anderson and the team are poised to have another good season.

Players Mentioned:

Shamorie Ponds

LJ Figueroa

Mustapha Heron

David Caraher

Justin Simon 

Mike Anderson (Head Coach)

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