Posh Alexander, in many ways the face of St. John’s basketball for the past three seasons, placed his name in the NCAA transfer portal on Wednesday and may be leaving the Red Storm.
The 6-foot junior guard and former Big East Freshman of the Year and co-Defensive Player of the Year posted his move on social media, saying “I have decided to enter the transfer portal with the option of returning to St. John’s University.” He also thanked former coach Mike Anderson and the Red Storm coaching staff, his family and St. John’s fans for their support.
Dylan Addae-Wusu, a 6-3 junior guard who has been a key player for St. John’s, also put his name in the portal on Wednesday and later posted on social media “I’ve decided to enter the transfer portal to pursue my journey.” Addae-Wusu also thanked Anderson, teammates and Storm fans, but made no mention of a possible return to the program.
The two join a growing list of players looking at options elsewhere since Rick Pitino was hired last week to replace Mike Anderson as St. John’s head coach and said that he would be bringing in up to eight new players for next season.
They bring the total number of members of the 2022-23 Storm in the portal to six with more expected. AJ Storr and Kolby King went into the portal on Tuesday. Rafael Pinzon and O’Mar Stanley did so the week before.
Alexander and Addae-Wusu both met with Pitino on Tuesday. Both put their names in the transfer portal within 24 hours.
In some cases, the player deciding to transfer had an option of playing for Pitino next season. In others, Pitino didn’t envision them being able to fit in his system.
Pitino told Newsday last week that he asked Storr, a freshman who averaged 8.8 points in 21.1 minutes over 33 games, to stay in the program. A source close to Pitino said Alexander was offered “a role” on next season’s team as well.
At his introductory news conference, Pitino was asked about the current roster and replied “certain players won’t fit in and should not play for me.”
Alexander averaged a team-high 32.7 minutes over 30 games this season and posted averages of 10.2 points, 4.1 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 2.0 steals. He shot just 23.2% on three-pointers.
Alexander’s numbers were down a tick from the 13.8 points and 5.5 assists he averaged as a sophomore, but he came on late in the season. Over the Storm’s final five games, he averaged 13.4 points and shot 36.4% from distance. After an excellent performance in St. John’s first-round win over Butler in the Big East Tournament, he said that he’d rediscovered the confidence in his game.
“I was playing bad — I wasn’t playing to my best ability and I was getting in my head,” Alexander said March 8. “I talked to my family and they just told me . . . ‘Remember where you came from and how hard you worked for this opportunity.’ I just thought about it, started getting to the gym a lot more [and] shooting the ball and getting my confidence . . . It's more just me having confidence in my game and the last couple games showed it.”
Some of Alexander’s struggles may have been related to Anderson’s decision to play him more off the ball after he brought in Illinois transfer point guard Andre Curbelo, who starred at Long Island Lutheran High School.
Addae-Wusu averaged 9.3 points in 26.9 minutes over 32 games this past season and made 36.4% of his three-point attempts. The 6-4, 235-pound guard was often the Storm’s most fearless player, unafraid to take an outside shot or drive in circumstances where St. John’s needed a basket.
“My time as a Johnny has been invaluable and groomed me to be a better person on and off the court,” Addae-Wusu wrote in his post. He also wrote, “Thank you Red Storm nation for giving a kid from the Bronx an opportunity. I'll forever be grateful.”
Yaxel Lendeborg, a 6-9 forward who had committed to St. John’s while Anderson was coach, announced in a social media post that he has reopened his recruiting.
Pitino went on social media Wednesday with a post about two current Storm players who will return.
“Worked out Joel Soriano n Drissa Traore yesterday,” he wrote. “Worked hard, loads of potential to improve. We start the process - build, work and create unparalleled passion. We are St John’s!!”