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St. John’s receives a commitment from transfer Aaron Wheeler

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The Johnnies land an athletic big man.

NCAA Basketball: Indiana at Purdue Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

St. John’s has picked up the second transfer addition off the offseason, former Purdue forward Aaron Wheeler.

Wheeler, a 6’9”, 205 pound junior for the Boilermakers, went from his home in Connecticut to play in West Lafayette for three years; he played in 95 games with 14 starts. Last season he averaged four points and four rebounds per game in under 20 minutes per contest.

Wheeler shined as a defensive forward. He made the team around three points per possession better on defense when on the floor, per barttorvik.com, and also blocked 3.3% of shots while on the floor, had a decent steal rate, and also grabbed 22% of available defensive rebounds. That mark would have been best on St. John’s last season.

Wheeler can run and has a solid-looking stroke from outside the arc, though he is a career 28% shooter from deep. Inside the arc, he was extremely effective near the basket — and not just on dunks; he connected on 64% of his shots near the rim. Farther from the rim, his midrange shot was rarely taken, and his infrequent free throws were at 57%. He his 85% of his free throws as a sophomore.

Aaron Wheeler Highlight video, from 2019-20

The Johnnies are still looking at other transfers. Much of the roster is graduating or leaving, with Marcellus Earlington, Josh Roberts, Greg Williams Jr., Isaih Moore, Vince Cole and Johnathan McGriff all transferring. The Red Storm have Vermont guard Stef Smith coming in, forward Esahia Nyiwe, and three freshmen — O’Mar Stanley, Rafael Pinzon and Drissa Traore.