The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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St. John’s Lands First Transfer of 2024 Cycle

USC transfer Vincent Iwuchukwu looks to make an immediate impact.
Photo Courtesy / YouTube USCAthletics
Torch Design / Megan Chapman

As last year’s men’s basketball team captain Joel Soriano sets his sights on the NBA, head coach Rick Pitino and company may have found his replacement. 

Following a dormant opening period in the transfer portal full of interest, rumors and visits, the Red Storm finally made a move. On April 23, USC’s 7-foot-1 big man Vincent Iwuchukwu officially committed to St. John’s. In limited minutes last season, Iwuchukwu tallied 5.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and one block per game.

Huge expectations surrounded the Texas-native heading into the 2022-23 campaign until tragedy struck. During a July workout, the former-five star recruit suffered cardiac arrest, preventing him from showing off his full potential in his freshman season.

Prior to the incident, members of the Southern California coaching staff were convinced Iwuchukwu was poised for a breakout. 

In the summer of 2023, he underwent back surgery, holding him out of play through the first two games of his sophomore season. 

His massive frame and elite shot-blocking ability should prove to translate seamlessly to Pitino’s patented zone defense. Iwuchukwu’s size could open up the possibility for Zuby Ejiofor to move from center to forward, providing the Red Storm with a front court who would be a matchup nightmare defensively. Ejiofor averaged 4.3 points and 3.1 rebounds last season in a backup role, but his impact extends beyond the numbers. 

With a full off-season of recovery and development under Pitino’s staff, the 25th ranked recruit in the 2022 class aims to showcase the talent scouts originally gawked over. 

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About the Contributor
Kyler Fox
Kyler Fox, Managing Editor
  Kyler is a senior journalism student in his second year with The Torch serving as Managing Editor. Outside of The Torch, he is a contributor for A Daly Dose of Hoops and Last Word on Sport. When Kyler isn’t writing, you can find him catching up on the latest buzz surrounding the industry, playing basketball with his friends or checking out the latest sneaker drops. Kyler can be reached at [email protected].
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