Back in March LJ Figueroa declared for the NBA draft. It was understood by many St. John’s fans that the 6’5″ wing was doing this to test the waters, get feedback from NBA scouts, and then return back to school for the 2020-2021 season. Not only did the fans think that LJ Figueroa would be returning, but so did the coaching staff. Monmouth grad transfer Ray Salnave included St. John’s in his final three schools during his recruitment. Ray had formally played with current St. John’s point guard Rasheem Dunn and many people thought that Salnave would end up a Johnny. The only problem was, there was no open scholarship to offer. Mike Anderson and the St. John’s coaching staff were keeping that 13th scholarship available for Figueroa once he pulled himself out of the NBA draft.
Ray Salnave ended up signing with DePaul on May 13th. The fact that Mike Anderson did not offer him that 13th scholarship lead everyone to believe that Figueroa would be returning for sure. Well, that was up until this morning.
On May 26th, Figueroa announced that he would be entering his name into the transfer portal. St. John’s missed out on signing Salnave because of LJ Figueroa….AND THEN HE TRANSFERS. This is extremely frustrating. Maybe LJ could’ve told the coaching staff that he would not be returning before now? This would’ve been great news to have during the recruitment of Ray Salnave. I’m confident we would’ve landed Salnave if we had a scholarship available, but NOPE, now we miss out on both of them.
Look out for an article tonight that includes an interview with St. John’s JUCO recruit Vince Cole. With the news of Figueroa leaving Cole will likely taking on a big scoring role for this upcoming season.