COURTSIDE: Staff Predictions (Men’s)


The Torch Staff

Brendan Myers

Record Prediction: 19-11: The Red Storm should have a successful non-conference campaign and the necessary confidence flowing into conference play. Last year, St. John’s fans learned that the Big East schedule can lead to tumultuous times, but expect a stronger season with more talent and depth.


Most Important Game: 1/1 vs. Marquette. It’s hard not to say Duke for this one, but Marquette should be a fringe top-25 team all-season and a win over the Golden Eagles will give the Red Storm the confidence they need to keep surging through conference play.


MVP: Shamorie Ponds


Best Newcomer: Mustapha Heron  


Most Improved: Marvin Clark II


Nick Bello

Record Prediction: 22-9


The Red Storm should have a winning season given the amount of talent they have on this roster. However, the Red Storm will face a lot of tough competition and it is safe to say that they will drop a good amount of games once Big East play comes around.


Most Important Game: 12/29 at Seton Hall


Although the Red Storm do play Duke at Cameron Indoor this year, the most important game is their first Big East game against Seton Hall in Newark. This game should be an indicator of how good they could be this season.


MVP: Shamorie Ponds


Best Newcomer: L.J. Figueroa


Most Improved: Justin Simon


Sean Okula:


RECORD: 20-11 (10-9).

The time is now. Non-conferences shouldn’t draw too much pushback. Play the Big East around a .500 clip, and the Dance is in play.


BIGGEST GAME: 2/28 vs. Xavier

Two bouts with the Musketeers down the stretch could prove crucial in resume padding. Trip to Cameron Indoor should be fun, but in-conference is where the damage will be done.


MVP: Shamorie Ponds


Best Newcomer: Sedee Keita


Most Improved: Marvin Clark II


John Cavanagh:

Record Prediction: 22-13 (including BE Tournament and NCAA Tournament)


The Johnnies will finally win more than 20 games for the first time in Chris Mullin’s coaching tenure, helped by a more talented team and soft non-conference schedule.


Most Important Game: 1/8 at Villanova


The Red Storm will face the National Champions, a team they beat on the road last year. It’s important they do it again to prove this team is for real. A big statement game.


MVP: Shamorie Ponds


He averaged 21.6 points per game last season and returns for his junior year. His scoring ability can single-handedly win games.


Best Newcomer: Sedee Keita


The 6-foot-9 center is one of the lone big-men on a team that plays small ball. Keita will also have to fill the void left by Tariq Owens, who transferred to Texas Tech.


Most Improved: Justin Simon


Hear me out. Simon already made Big-East second team, and he’s already one of the best players on the team. However, watch for his improved jump-shot to add to his arsenal.


Nick McCreven:


Prediction: 19-11. I have the Red Storm going 9-4 in their non-conference schedule; exempting Duke, the competition isn’t too intimidating but there will be a few growing pains with the new roster. My guess for conference play is 10-7. I would love to see
them grab a win against Villanova, Marquette and Xavier to assert themselves, but the Big East remains one of the strongest conferences in the country.


Most Important Game: 2/2 at Duke Despite having an almost entirely different roster, I’m sure the Blue Devils will want redemption on their home court after the shocking Johnnies victory at MSG last season. Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish, three of the top NBA recruits in the country, will make life difficult for the Red Storm defense.


MVP: Shamorie Ponds.


Best Newcomer: Mustapha Heron.  


Most Improved: Bryan Trimble Jr.