Vince Iwuchukwu Transfers from USC to St. John's Basketball for 2024 Season

Vince Iwuchukwu, a 7-foot-1 center, transfers from USC to St. John's, reuniting with coach Rick Pitino. The move aims to bolster the Red Storm's frontcourt and NCAA Tournament aspirations.

Mahnoor Jehangir
Updated On
New Update
Vince Iwuchukwu Transfers from USC to St. John's Basketball for 2024 Season

Vince Iwuchukwu Transfers from USC to St. John's Basketball for 2024 Season

Vince Iwuchukwu, a 7-foot-1 center who previously played for the USC Trojans, has announced his decision to transfer to the St. John's Red Storm basketball team for the 2024-25 season. Iwuchukwu, a former four-star prospect ranked as the No. 30 overall player and No. 4 center in the 2022 recruiting class, visited St. John's last week and was impressed by head coach Rick Pitino and his coaching staff.

During his time at USC, Iwuchukwu appeared in 45 games with 16 starts over two seasons, averaging 5.4 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. Last season, he played in 31 games, starting 11 of them, and averaged 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds. Iwuchukwu's USC career was impacted by health issues, as he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest during a workout in his first summer with the program, causing him to miss the first 16 games of his freshman season. He also sustained a back injury that limited him to 14 games in 2022.

Pitino expressed enthusiasm about Iwuchukwu's potential, describing him as "awesome" with a great attitude and work ethic. The head coach believes Iwuchukwu, at "7'1, 250, agile, mobile, and shoots the heck out of it," has a lot of upside. Iwuchukwu is equally enthusiastic about playing for Pitino, stating his desire to help St. John's achieve their goals of making the NCAA Tournament and reaching the Final Four.

Iwuchukwu entered the transfer portal along with several other USC players following the departure of head coach Andy Enfield, who took the SMU job. USC has since hired Eric Musselman as their new head coach. As of April 23, USC has nine scholarship players expected to be on the team for the upcoming season.

With Iwuchukwu's commitment, St. John's has landed a significant addition to their roster as they look to build a consistent NCAA Tournament team under Pitino's leadership. Iwuchukwu will team up with returning big man Zuby Ejiofor to form a formidable frontcourt for the Red Storm. St. John's still has four open scholarships and is actively recruiting other transfer players, including North Texas wing Aaron Scott, Texas forward Dillon Mitchell, and Utah point guard Deivon Smith.

St. John's narrowly missed an NCAA Tournament bid in the 2022-23 season after finishing with a 20-13 record and losing to eventual national champion UConn in the Big East semifinal. The addition of Iwuchukwu and potential other transfers could help the program take the next step in the upcoming season under Pitino's guidance. The transfer portal, which opened on March 18th and will remain open until May 1st, is expected to have a major impact on the college basketball landscape for the 2024-25 season due to a new NCAA rule allowing transfers to be immediately eligible.

Key Takeaways

  • Vince Iwuchukwu, a 7'1" center, is transferring from USC to St. John's for 2024-25 season.
  • Iwuchukwu was a 4-star recruit in 2022, but his USC career was impacted by health issues.
  • St. John's head coach Rick Pitino is enthusiastic about Iwuchukwu's potential and fit with the team.
  • Iwuchukwu's transfer comes as several other USC players entered the portal after coach Andy Enfield's departure.
  • Iwuchukwu's addition bolsters St. John's frontcourt as they aim to make the NCAA Tournament in 2024-25.