St. John’s has landed a second transfer commitment in the offseason, and the second coming from a school in the state of Illinois.
Former DePaul wing David Jones, an athletic and attack-minded 6’6” scorer, has committed to the Red Storm will join Joel Soriano and the St. John’s Red Storm in the fall. Jones will have two years of eligibility remaining.
A former top-150 player, Jones is originally from the Dominican Republic but played high school basketball in West Virginia. Former DePaul coach Dave Leitao recruited Jones to come to Chicago. After enrolling in January at DePaul, Jones emerged in his second year after the Blue Demons’ coaching change, averaging over 14 points per game last season.
Jones had struggles shooting, especially from deep. But he also had big games, like his triple-double against Georgetown or his 33 point, 14 rebound game against Louisville. He is strong for his size, can create his own shot (though he tends to take a number of dribbles searching for his shot), and is athletic enough to be devastating in transition.
Jones is also a solid passer out of double teams and is an strong, tough rebounder for his size.
For St. John’s, Jones joins fellow Dominican player Joel Soriano. The two Dominican players join the Puerto Rican transfer Andre Curbelo, who comes in from Illinois to join Rafael Pinzon. [Clearly, the Johnnies are the Caribbean’s College Team.]
With a roster heavy on guards — star point guard Posh Alexander, veteran Montez Mathis, the versatile Dylan Addae-Wusu will be joined by top-150 wing AJ Storr and guard Kolby King — and possibly questionable on shooting, the Red Storm will lean hard on their ability to make chaos and score in transition.
Player development can be key for the team, and perhaps past performances can be improved. For example, Aaron Wheeler shot under 30% for three years at Purdue, but became a nearly-40% three-point shooter with the Red Storm. Given more high-usage shot creators around them, the scoring efficiency of David Jones, Posh Alexander, and Andre Curbelo may go up as they take fewer tough/ desperation shots.
The post players look set with Joel Soriano, O’Mar Stanley and Esahia Nyiwe looking to make more impact, though the Johnnies are looking at a big man with their final available scholarship.
For a team that lost high-usage scorers in Julian Champagnie and Aaron Wheeler in the offseason, the Red Storm has certainly added talent. Will it come together?