Mike Anderson’s mentality with St. John’s a sleeper in Large East

Mike Anderson by no means had a dropping season as a head coach. He reached the NCAA Event with three totally different colleges. It shouldn’t have been a shock that “40 minutes of hell” might journey north of the Mason-Dixon line.

Regardless of inheriting an absence of depth and dimension in his first season at St. John’s, Anderson earned his 18th straight profitable season with the power of an aggressive defensive system that allowed the Pink Storm to complete second within the nation in steals.

There is no such thing as a longer any query how the 60-year-old Alabama native will slot in New York. And to him, there is no such thing as a query how his crew will carry out in its second 12 months within the system.

“It’s sort of like, seeing is believing,” Anderson mentioned throughout Wednesday’s Large East media day. “It began paying off. Hopefully, we are able to begin that this 12 months a bit of earlier, and also you’ll see a good higher crew on the finish of the 12 months.”

Final season, St. John’s (17-15, 5-13 Large East) was one of many closing two groups standing, as its Large East Event quarterfinal recreation in opposition to Creighton was canceled, together with the season.

When the crew left a near-empty Madison Sq. Backyard on that life-altering afternoon of March 12, the Pink Storm led the league’s top-seeded crew at halftime. St. John’s had received three of its closing 4 video games, which included a blowout victory over No. 10 Creighton.

“I believe this has the makings of a extremely good basketball crew,” Anderson mentioned. “I believed because the season progressed we began discovering our id, and that’s huge. If you are available in, you’re making a tradition, a method of play that guys are usually not used to enjoying. … Hopefully we are able to construct upon that.”

Few count on him to.

St. John’s was picked by the Large East coaches to complete ninth within the league, with no gamers incomes preseason honors.

Final season, St. John’s was picked to complete ninth and held that seeding within the Large East Event. Nonetheless, Anderson identified that Creighton was picked to complete seventh and have become co-champions.

Unprompted, Seton Corridor coach Kevin Willard additionally shared optimism for the Pink Storm.

“I believe lots of people are sleeping on St. John’s,” Willard mentioned. “They’re going to be a lot deeper, and I believe they’re getting used to enjoying the way in which Mike does.”

There’s extra depth — with George Washington switch Arnaldo Toro, JUCO All-American Vince Cole and three-star level guard Posh Alexander becoming a member of a returning core of Julian Champagnie, Rasheem Dunn, Greg Williams Jr. and Marcellus Earlington. St. John’s, nonetheless, additionally misplaced Mustapha Heron, LJ Figueroa, its top-two scorers and 3-point shooters from a crew that hit simply 32.1 p.c from deep.

Loads of questions stay in Queens. Does Anderson have sufficient solutions?

“I believe we’re gonna construct off what we did final 12 months, “Anderson mentioned. “I like this crew proper now. I actually, actually do. I simply see one thing I didn’t see final 12 months. … I believe they’re taking some possession of this crew.”

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