Mid-season briefing of Men’s Basketball

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TORCH PHOTO / Brenden Willisch

In the two months that have passed since the start of the 2020-21 Red Storm basketball season, fans have seen it all; from successful wins to COVID-19 cancelations, this basketball season is one that the Johnnies will remember forever.

Going into a game against Utah Valley on Jan. 23, the Men’s Basketball team held a winning record of 8-7. These eight wins include a victory in The Lapchick Tournament, three Big East victories and two consecutive wins during finals week in December. 

On Jan. 18, the Johnnies recorded their first ranked win of the season against Big East opponent UConn. The Huskies, ranked at No. 23 in the nation at the time, put up a fight against the Johnnies until the end. The Red Storm balanced the teams’ trips to the nets, holding onto their points in a 74-70 victory. 

“We needed a win, period,” Head Coach Mike Anderson said in a post-game press release. “I thought that we just needed to play a complete 40 minutes.”

Many star players have shone through the first half of the season. 

Sophomore Julian Champagnie has continued to guide the team throughout the season. Thus far, the 6-foot-8-inch guard is averaging 20 points, 5.2 rebounds and 0.7 assists a game. This growing performance earned the player both Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association Met Player of the Week honors and Big East Player of the Week within 24 hours of one another. 

New faces with the Red Storm have also brought a lot to the game in their debut seasons. 

Once-high school teammates, Posh Alexander and Dylan Addae-Wusu have returned to the court together, showing off the skills that Our Savior Lutheran School taught its basketball team. 

Brooklyn-native Alexander is averaging about 9.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists a game. Just before Christmas he was named Big East Freshman of the Week after assisting the Johnnies in their first league victory against Georgetown. 

Addae-Wusu, another New York local, averages 2.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists a game. His season-high points stand at 12 in just one game against Big East opponent Creighton. 

Junior Vince Cole came into the Red Storm rolling. In the team’s season and home opener on Nov. 25 against Saint Peter’s, Cole initiated a comeback with just under 20 seconds left in the matchup. In that short amount of time, the Johnnies reached a two-point deficit with 8.5 seconds left. To secure the 76-75 victory, Cole registered his fifth three-pointer of the game, which led him to reach 21 points total that night.

The Men’s Basketball team will be back in action Wednesday Jan. 27, when they face off against DePaul University with hopes to extend their three-game winning streak against the Big East opponent.