2022 Creighton vs St. John's - Women's

St. John's Women's Basketball: Standout Offense Something To Build Upon

St. John's Women's Basketball: Standout Offense Something To Build Upon

For the St. John's Red Storm, the 2021-2022 season almost was one of two different teams, depending on the opponent. There's plenty to build on, though.

Oct 19, 2022 by Ron Balaskovitz
St. John's Women's Basketball: Standout Offense Something To Build Upon

For the St. John's Red Storm, the 2021-2022 season almost was one of two different teams, depending on the opponent.

Against opponents they matched up well with, they more than held their own, but against the top teams in the BIG EAST and strong nonconference opponents, the Red Storm struggled mightily. 

Add it all up, and it leads to a 12-19 mark, including 7-12 in BIG EAST play.

St. John's has plenty to build on for the 2022-2023 campaign, including one of the league's better offenses a season ago, tons of returning talent and a key addition with BIG EAST experience.

If the Red Storm are going to take the next step to get among the league's best, it will take an improved effort on defense and figuring out a way to replace an all-league performer.

What is there to look out for with St. John's women's basketball this season? 

Below is a look into what the Red Storm will bring to the table for the 2022-2023 season, as FloHoops previews every women's basketball team in the BIG EAST.

2021-2022 Season Review

The simplest way to tell the tale of last season for St. John's is by taking a look at their games against the toughest opponents.

Against the top four teams in the BIG EAST, as well as opponents from the PAC 12 and Big Ten, the Red Storm were 0-11, including 0-9 against the best in the conference. That means that in all other games, they were 11-8, going 6-2 in league play against the teams that finished fifth through 11th.

St. John's also struggled away from Carnesecca Arena, going 5-13 in away and neutral-site games.

The good news for St. John's is that is featured one of the best offenses in the league a season ago and returns much of that firepower for this season. 

The Red Storm were fourth in the league at 72 points per game, found themselves third in 3-pointers made and were in the top half of the league in overall shooting percentage, 3-point percentage and free throw percentage.

Off of that team, they'll return their second- through sixth-leading scorers, who accounted for over half of the team's 3-pointers. They'll also bring back a combined nearly 50 points per game between them, all while adding a near double-double a night player from the transfer portal. 

On The Court

On offense, St. John's boasts one of the deepest rotations in the league.

That depth comes despite losing Leilani Correa to the transfer porter. The all-league player led the team in scoring at over 17 points per game last season, connecting on a team-best 60 long balls, but she left for Florida in the offseason. So, while there is depth, the challenge is replacing a true go-to option.

The other concern for the Red Storm coming into this season is the need to improve defensively. 

Last season, they were torched for nearly 74 points per game, ninth in the league, allowing opponents to connect on nearly 44% of their shots, while ranking next to last in steals and rebounding margin. 

A failure to end possessions or force tough shots is how you go 0-9 against the four best teams in the league.

Key Returner

Kadaja Bailey, G, Fifth-Year Senior, Long Beach, New York

Bailey is the seasoned veteran for the Red Storm, and she returns after a great two-way fourth year that saw her finish second on the team in scoring at 14.2 points per game and dish out a team-best three assists per game, all while leading the team in steals.

Bailey is an inside-out threat, hitting over 35% of her 3-pointers a season ago on over 100 attempts, then shooting over 50% inside the line to finish the year at nearly 48% from the floor, which was the second-best on the team. 

In addition to her efficiency from the floor, Bailey also led the Red Storm in free throw attempts and hit them at 80%. 

She's a scorer who can do it all, and with the departure of Correa, Bailey will step into the No. 1 scorer's role this season, all while being asked to handle opponents' top guards.

Key Addition

Jillian Archer, Grad Transfer, Georgetown, Santa Monica, California

While the Red Storm were hurt by the transfer portal, they also got a big piece in return, literally and figuratively.

The 6-foot-2 Archer comes to St. John's after playing in the BIG EAST for Georgetown, so she'll know the ins and outs of the league. 

Archer appeared in 22 games last season for the Hoyas, averaging eight points per night, while grabbing just under seven rebounds a game. 

She should slide into either a starting role, or be the first player off the bench to help an already potent offense. And, her length should help improve the rebounding struggles from a year ago.

Game To Watch: St. John's Vs. Creighton

As noted, the Red Storm were 0-9 last season against the four best teams in the league, including in the BIG EAST Tournament. 

Two nights after opening league play against cellar-dweller Butler, St. John's will find out in a big way how far it has come from, as the Red Storm take on last season's third-place team. 

The Blue Jays pulled out a narrow win in Omaha, then crushed the Red Storm in Queens by 48 points later in the year.

It's a chance to make a statement early in the league schedule, and it could go a long way in the Red Storm's quest to put themselves in the running for a postseason berth.