Posh Alexander made a guarantee: he won’t be afraid to let it fly this year.
Not if he misses a few shots. Not if the ball doesn’t drop in a certain play. The St. John’s junior knows this is a big year for him, and he’ll approach it with soaring confidence.
“I can’t wait to show everyone how I shoot this year,” Alexander said Thursday at St. John’s media day.
He spent the entire offseason preparing for it, working on his shooting like never before, devoting his summer to improving his game’s main weakness. The 6-foot Brooklyn native took the Big East by storm as a as a rookie, named league rookie of the year and co-defensive player of the year. He put up some good numbers as a sophomore, averaging 13.8 points, 5.5 assists and 2.3 steals, but he didn’t take the leap some expected. His 3-point shooting is down to 21.7% from 29.9%, making his defense much easier.
It didn’t sit well with the fierce defender. And with Julian Champagnie leaving for the NBA, Alexander knew the spotlight would be on him. He had to make a change, and so he started spending more time in the gym, working out multiple times a day, visiting his old high school, Our Savior Lutheran, to work on his sweater. He now weighs 198 pounds, up from 215 as recently as May.
“My mindset was very different,” he said. “I am maturing, I see life differently. I wanted to work to be in the best shape possible. … I’m trying to take another step and be the best version of myself. Last year motivated me a lot. I feel like I still have a lot to prove this year.
There were several reasons for his shooting difficulties. Alexander suffered from various leg ailments and was often restricted or deprived of practice, reducing his reps. Without another true playmaker on the roster, he was overloaded with additional responsibilities. This year, that will be mitigated with the addition of Illinois transfer Andre Curbelo.
“I just think the composition of this team allows them to do more things,” coach Mike Anderson said.
Alexander is excited about the upcoming season, repeatedly saying he is honored to share a backcourt with Curbelo, eager to showcase his improved jumper and conditioning. For St. John’s to advance to the NCAA Tournament, Alexander will need to lead the way.
“I personally feel like I’m ready for a great year,” he said, “and I think this team is going to have a great year.”