St. John’s head coach Mike Anderson had to make an executive decision after last Friday night’s beating at the hands of the Kansas Jayhawks. Yes, the Johnnies are undefeated against smaller nonconference opponents but when the big boys such as Indiana and Kansas roll in, there’s early signs of trouble this season.
Anderson made a philosophical change and with his new mantra, “minutes are not given”, Mike Anderson, December 5, 2021 – he re-tooled the look of the Red Storm Sunday night against Fordham. If a lunch pail, blue collar work ethic is what St. John’s was looking for, they got it in the form of Dylan Addae-Wusu and Esahia Nyiwe. These two players started the season as practice players but have earned their playing time and playing time they got against the Fordham Rams.
Addae-Wusu registered another career night with this first double-double of his collegiate career – 11 points, 11 assists, four steal and 4 rebounds in 33 minutes of playing time. Nyiwe became another surprise in the game and is showing his “diamond in the rough” status by scoring seven points and even more importantly logged eight rebounds and three blocks – trademarks of a rim protector. Julian Champagnie also contributed to the cause with 16 points and eight rebounds while Posh Alexander continues to contribute to the cause with 23 points, four rebounds and five assists.
Mike Anderson also changed up the dynamics of the St. John’s game plan by returning to the press, something that was noticeably absent in the Kansas game. Inbound passes were routinely challenged, especially in the first half to assert dominance over Fordham and create a more physical defense. Also, Anderson went less to the bench in the second half, using only seven players to finish off this game. The next opponent is Monmouth, and the Johnnies need to use these easier nonconference games to develop their game on both sides of the ball in preparation for the conference schedule. The Red Storm will need everyone to contribute to the cause of getting to the postseason.