clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

St John’s Basketball: Biggest storylines of the offseason

New, comments

Recapping what could be a program-changing summer.

NCAA Basketball: Providence at St. John Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off an encouraging 2016-17 season, St. John’s fans are anxious to see what improvements their beloved Johnnies have made since we last saw them.

Many basketball fans are expecting the Johnnies to make a jump toward relevancy this season. Of course much of this stems from the fairly noisy offseason the Red Storm are coming off.

As basketball season continues to creep closer, we look back at some of the biggest headlines from this past summer.

Richard Freudenberg to leave St. John’s, returns to Europe

Freudenberg, a 6-foot-9 shooter from Germany left St. John’s after one season. After playing with Bayern Munich’s youth team, Freudenberg had the option to attend college or sign a professional contract in Europe. After considering both Boston College and Vanderbilt, he ultimately joined the St. John’s program.

Although Freudenberg contributed very little on the basketball court, his potential seemed both untapped and massive. He is an athletic forward who has a nice looking jump shot. As he matures, he could likely develop into a solid basketball player.

Freudenberg now plays with the Fraport Skyliners, a basketball team in Frankfurt, Germany.

Malik Ellison transfers to Pittsburgh

Another departure this offseason was versatile wing Malik Ellison. After averaging about 7 points and 3 rebounds per game in two seasons, he found a new home in Pittsburgh.

Our own Norman Rose previously detailed the outlook on Ellison’s future.

As Norman also mentioned, Ellison’s minutes likely would have been decreased this upcoming season. Arizona transfer Justin Simon is now eligible and is expected to play a huge role on this Red Storm team. Simon is very athletic, and if he proves to be equally as good of a shooter or defender as Ellison, many St. John’s supporters will be thrilled.

Quinnipiac transfer Mikey Dixon commits to St. John’s

The Red Storm outclassed both Penn State and UMass to secure the services of 6’2’’ guard Mikey Dixon.

Dixon will sit out one season before being eligible for three more in Queens. He has made a name for himself after an explosive freshman campaign at Quinnipiac. Dixon, scored 16 points per game on 52% shooting inside the arc, 37% shooting from beyond the three-point line and 86% at the free throw line. His play earned him honors as the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year.

Sid Wilson commits to St. John’s

Sort of surprisingly, Wilson committed to the Red Storm over the summer. He originally picked St. John’s over UConn and Texas.

As a Bronx native, Wilson will always be known for his infamous stint with St. John’s. Because later...

Sidney Wilson transfers from the Red Storm

In what was likely the most surprising move of the offseason, forward Sidney Wilson departed St. John’s after just months within the program.

“A lot has happened in my life over the last few years,” Wilson said in a press release. “These factors played a large part in my decision to stay close to home, but unfortunately I recently realized it was not what is best for me at this time to manage adversity in my life.

From the New York Post:

Wilson was one of the biggest signings in the Mullin era to date. He was expected to contribute on the wing immediately. His departure leaves nine rotations players for the Johnnies. Depth could prove to be an issue for St. John’s, especially in the instance of an injury.

Shortly after leaving St. John’s, Wilson committed to Kevin Ollie’s Connecticut Huskies. Wilson must sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA rules, but UConn has applied for a waiver.

Forward Sedee Keita commits to St. John’s

South Carolina’s Sedee Keita transferred to St. John’s after one season with the Gamecocks.

From a St. John’s press release:

As it appears right now, Keita is the future of St. John’s frontcourt. His large frame will help slow down the imposing big men of the Big East.

Federico Mussini signs with Italian pro team

The Italian guard finished his Red Storm career after two seasons in Queens. His youth club, Reggio Emilia offered Mussini a spot on the senior club. After leaving Italy for St. John’s two years earlier, he departed New York for his homeland.

Mussini was one of the hardest working Johnnies. In Mullin’s first season, a bulk of the backcourt responsibilities fell upon Mussini. He was a pesky player who could heat up from deep at any time. Unfortunately for Mussini, the additions of Shamorie Ponds and Marcus LoVett decreased his role on the team.

“It was an honor to wear a St. John’s jersey for the last two years,” said Mussini in a press release. “This was an incredible experience for me to be a part of such a great university in New York City. I want to thank Coach Mullin and the entire coaching staff for everything I learned from them. I also want to thank all the St. John’s fans for their support at Carnesecca Arena and Madison Square Garden.”

Bryan Trimble joins St. John’s

Coach Mullin and staff picked up a nice commitment from this Kansas City guard. Bryan Trimble had originally committed to Florida State, but he was released from his scholarship and ultimately signed with St. John’s.

In high school, Trimble was highly regarded for his shooting ability. He played at Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire, Kansas, shooting 45% on three-pointers in his high school senior year. He is also a very athletic guard that serves a complimentary role on next seasons St. John’s team.

“Bryan is an explosive athlete who can thrive in our program because of his relentless work ethic,” said St. John’s head coach Chris Mullin in a release. “He is a versatile player with great character who we believe can make an immediate impact next season. We are thrilled to welcome Bryan to our basketball program.”

Boubacar Diakite enrolls early at St. John’s

Forward Boubacar Diakite committed to St. John’s relatively early in comparison to other 2018 recruits. As it turned out, he would enroll at the university one year early. He will have an opportunity to acclimate to the team and campus before officially gearing up for the Red Storm.

Scout describes Diakite as an athletic and versatile forward, who also can score the ball inside. 247 Sports also commented about Diakite’s game, depicting him as a consistent mid-range jump shooter.

In the upcoming seasons, Diakite will likely play a significant role in the Johnnies frontcourt.