“I’m BACK, back in the New York groove….back, back in the New York groove.”
Mike Anderson and the St. John’s Mens Basketball team are off to a hot start to the 2021-2022 season. There is so much to be excited about with this team, let’s dive into a few of my key takeaways from the first two games of the season.
Tareq Coburn Doesn’t Miss
Tareq Coburn has turned himself into a St. John’s fan favorite very quickly. There is something about the way the ball looks coming out of his hand when he shoots the three, that just looks perfect. He has a super effortless three-point stroke and does his scoring extremely efficiently. Against Mississippi Valley State, Coburn shot 3-5 from beyond the arc and 5-8 from the field, tallying 13 total points. Following that performance, Coburn shot 3-5 from deep, 5-7 from the field, and 4-5 from the free throw line, in a 17-point performance against St. Peter’s.
Landing Coburn in the transfer portal was an absolute steal for Mike Anderson. He is seemingly going to be the X-factor for this very talented St. John’s team.
Get Out of my Paint
For anyone who has watched St. John’s basketball in recent years, you are well aware of the struggles that we have had with getting a solid big man to hold down the paint. Well, ladies and gentlemen we have our guy. Introducing, Joel Soriano.
Standing in at 6-foot-11 and 260 pounds, Soriano represents the first true “Big East level” big man that St. John’s has had in many years. Perhaps what stands out the most about Soriano is his ability to consistently knock down free throws. Past St. John’s big men have struggled immensely to gain consistency from the line, however Soriano looks to be very comfortable. In the home opener, he went 7-8 from the free throw line. Consistent free throw shooting from our big men is going to be vital against tough opponents. It is also worth mentioning that through the first two games of the year, Soriano has averaged 9 rebounds and 3 blocked shots per game. Joel Soriano is primed for a very special junior season with the Red Storm, and fans are thrilled to have him on our side.
Back and Better Than Ever
Whether your watching the game live in the arena, on a television, or even if you are just checking the box score, your eyes are drawn to two players. Posh Alexander and Julian Champagnie. These two guys were incredible last season, and they look even better now.
Posh Alexander stuffed the stat-sheet against Mississippi Valley State and St. Peter’s.
|Mississippi Valley State||18||1||7||3|
His unselfishness with the basketball and tenacious defense is the motor that keeps this team rolling. He plays the game at 100 MPH for the entire 40 minutes and his passion rubs off onto others around him. After a freshman campaign that saw him achieve the Big East Freshman of the Year award and Big East Defensive Player of the Year award, the next step in his progression as a player was clearly to develop a consistent three-point shot. And so far, it looks like he has.
Posh shot 4-5 from beyond the arc against Mississippi Valley State, and followed up that performance by going 2-4 on three-point shots against St. Peter’s. If he can keep up this type of pace, he is going to be even more of a nightmare for opposing teams.
Lastly, you can simply never talk about/write an article about St. John’s and not mention Julian Champagnie. The best way I can describe him is as “Mr. Consistent”. A year ago, Julian was the Big East scoring champ and so far this season it seems like he is coming for that honor yet again.
Champagnie is the centerpiece to an extremely special St. John’s team. He tallied 20 points in the opener and 22 points vs. St. Peter’s last night. Every team needs “the guy” offensively and he is THAT GUY for the Red Storm.