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Julian Champagnie, Aaron Wheeler to go pro; Mathis to return

Two high-scoring wings leave, one defensive/ toughness guard stays

Chris Hagan

After earning All-Big East honors twice and cementing himself as a high-level scorer on the collegiate level for two seasons, junior 6’8” wing Julian Champagnie has declared for the NBA Draft. Per the school’s release, he finishes his St. John’s career third in three-pointers made and 20th on the school’s all-time scoring list.

Per the NY Post, he will sign with the same agent that helped him with his Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) deal, the new college basketball rule that allows players to earn some money based on their fame.

Champagnie leaves school a season early, but the move was widely expected.

Also leaving St. John’s will be forward Aaron Wheeler, a 6’9” wing who reinvented his game a bit as a transfer from Purdue, and found much more impactful scoring success on the floor with the Red Storm. Wheeler will leave to pursue professional opportunities as well; he turns 24 this year.

Wheeler provided solid scoring, shot blocking and rebounding — and stepped up when Champagnie’s scoring touch left him during the Big East season.

Staying at St. John’s, however, will be guard Montez Mathis, who announced yesterday that he will take advantage of an extra season of eligibility (granted because of the COVID-restricted season).

St. John’s will have a new look next season as they compete in the Big East; more look backs on the season to come from the Rumble.