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Grad transfer Nick Rutherford commits to St. John’s from Monmouth

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The Monmouth transfer adds depth to the point guard position.

NCAA Basketball: MAAC Conference Tournament-Monmouth vs Iona Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

St. John’s has a new addition for next season — a graduate transfer point guard.

Nick Rutherford, a 6’4” guard from born in Indianapolis but also raised in Texas, will play his final season with the Red Storm after playing a year under King Rice at Monmouth.

Rutherford is a strongly built guard who was one of the nation’s best at forcing steals on defense. He scored five points per game, adding two assists per contest. He is a career 26% shooter from distance, and 39% shooter inside the arc, though he connected on 42% of his shots inside last season. He shot 78% on free throws, so there is potential in his skill set for better shooting.

His stats may be modest, but the transfer guard fills an immediate need as a ball-handler option, alongside incoming freshman Johnathan McGriff and sophomore Greg Williams, Jr. At point guard, Rutherford shared duties with Ray Salnave at Monmouth; Salnave, who played high school ball at Cardozo, was the more ball-dominant player.

At his previous stop, Florida Atlantic, he led FAU in assists while maintaining a high steal rate (and committing few fouls).

As a member of next season’s team, Nick Rutherford should bring toughness. The team will want to pair him with creative scorers and finishers to maximize his passing skills.

Mike Anderson’s squad now has depth for different looks in the backcourt; competition will reveal which players get the major minutes.

Rutherford is St. John’s first grad transfer of the Mike Anderson era. The team also welcomes a JUCO (Damien Sears), three transfers who sat out last season (David Caraher, Eli Wright and Ian Steere), and two freshmen.

St. John’s has one more scholarship to use to add to the seven newcomers. A big man is a likely target.

St. John’s 2019-20 roster, by class

Seniors: Mustapha Heron (G), Nick Rutherford (G)

Juniors: LJ Figueroa (G/F), Eli Wright (G), Damien Sears (F)

Sophomores: Greg Williams Jr. (G), Josh Roberts (F), Marcellus Earlington (F), David Caraher (F), Ian Steere (F)

Freshmen: Johnathan McGriff (PG), Julian Champagnie (F)