Freshman Ricky Torres is expected to bring excellent long-range shooting ability, added size, and improved passing to this season’s men’s basketball team.
But what will not be shown on the stat sheet is the positive outlook he’s bringing to the team.
“I’m not concerned about starting,” Torres said. “Coach is going to make that decision. [I’ll] just keep working hard – working my behind off just to get on the court.”
Those are big words for a player who was a star coming out of high school. At St. Raymond’s in the Bronx, Torres averaged 18.0 points per game his senior year.
He shot 43 percent from the floor and 39 percent from behind the arc. He was the second-leading scorer in the CHSAA’s AA division and was rated a top 100 prospect by several recruiting publications.
But for the 6-foot-5 shooting guard, high school is over and he is concentrating on improving his game at St. John’s.
“To be honest with you, I always liked St. John’s, but two years ago, I never thought I’d be here,” Torres said.
A native of the Bronx, Torres fulfilled his desire to stay close to home to be with his 10-year-old brother Inoa, who has Down’s Syndrome.
Roberts was excited about the opportunity to work with the new recruits, including Torres.
“He’s going to add a lot to us offensively,” Roberts said. “He’s still working on the defensive end of the floor, [but] he can really shoot the basketball. The key to Ricky is that he has a great feel for the game.”
Added Torres: “I can contribute right away with shooting, but I have to improve in other areas. I am learning. Defense is one of my keys I have to improve on. [We] watch film [and] work with coaches on techniques. Every day we work on our moves [and] improve as much as possible, putting the extra time in. I try to be a smart defender.”
Torres has enjoyed his time at St. John’s so far, particularly working with the veterans of the team.
“The guys like [Lamont] Hamilton and [Daryll] Hill – they’ve been there,” Torres said. “They know what’s going on in the Big East. They try to help us out as much as possible. The team hangs out together and that builds chemistry.”
He is also impressed with the new Taffner Field House built for the basketball teams.
“Taffner is a really good place for us,” Torres said. “[We’re] really excited about it. Alumni came by and said ‘When we played here, we didn’t have this,’ and we have to try to make them feel like we deserve this.”
Improvement is the goal for this season’s team and Torres is another step in that direction.
With a winning jump shot and a positive outlook for the future, Torres is a newcomer willing to help take St. John’s back to the top, one game at a time.