St. John’s once complete roster may not be full after all. On Tuesday morning a few reports surfaced about Red Storm star LJ Figueroa entering the transfer portal.
St. John’s junior guard LJ Figueroa is in the NCAA Transfer Portal, per a source. Figueroa averaged 14.5 PPG this past season.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) May 26, 2020
Figueroa, who still has his name in the NBA Draft pool, is likely done at St. John’s. Per Zach Braziller of the NY Post, Figueroa is exploring all options, “meaning NBA, G-League, overseas, or transferring.” Braziller also highlights the reasons for his departure, citing an unsatisfactory junior season, and a general concern for the trajectory of his career.
This is not the first time Figueroa has entered the transfer portal. Fans may remember when he did the same last offseason before returning to Queens. Last offseason he drew interest from Arkansas, UConn, Miami, among others. It remains to be seen which college teams will reach out this time around, but it is worth noting that some teams have already spoke to Figueroa about playing immediately.
Schools have been in LJ Figueroa's ear that he would be able to get a waiver if he transferred based on the coronavirus's impact in NYC. Huge news that he's in the portal obviously. #sjubb— Zach Braziller (@NYPost_Brazille) May 26, 2020
This decision by Figueroa will negatively impact next year’s Red Storm team. Figueroa was their leading scorer last season, averaging about 15 points per game. He was a capable slasher, a veteran presence, and an athletic defender. Players like Rasheem Dunn and Julian Champagnie will be expected to fill the void and play a bigger role.
Figueroa’s late decision to leave also corners the St. John’s coaching staff who might have wanted to add a transfer. As we wrote at the beginning of the month, the Red Storm were prioritizing Monmouth transfer Ray Salnave. Despite interest from St. John’s, they did not have a scholarship to offer Salnave, and had to sit idle while he later committed to conference foe DePaul. According to Zach Braziller, the Red Storm are open to filling the last remaining scholarship left from Figueroa, although they do not necessarily feel it is essential.
St. John's will be open to filling the last open scholarship, but doesn't feel a need to, per source. #sjubb— Zach Braziller (@NYPost_Brazille) May 26, 2020
Whoever ends up with Figueroa will be getting a talented wing player. For now, the roster for next season’s Red Storm team appears to be finalized.