NEW YORK (PIX11) – The expectations for St. John’s men’s basketball team are sky-high this upcoming season. Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino is a big reason for that. He’s been a winner everywhere and at every level.

Another ingredient that can help the Red Storm return to prominence is Plainfield, New Jersey native Simeon Wilcher.

“Coach Pitino, just having a chance to play under him and seeing what he’s done with past players,” Wilcher told PIX11 News. “I want to do the same thing those guys are doing now and they had the chance to do. I felt like this was the perfect place for me.”

St. John’s wasn’t a part of Wilcher’s original plans. The former Roselle Catholic star committed to North Carolina, but changed his mind during the summer and crossed over for the opportunity to play closer to home. 

The 6’4″ point guard says you have to earn everything when playing for coach Pitino.

“Everything he talks to you about is going to have to come from you putting in the time and doing what you do on court,” said Wilcher, the highest-rated freshman to pick St. John’s in a decade.

St. John’s roster will feature nearly a dozen new players including Wilcher. A majority of the new faces are transfers.

“We have so many talented players and have so many players that have so much experience with college basketball,” Wilcher explained. “When we all get a chance to mesh the way it’s suppose to be in the next couple if weeks or months, I’m waiting to show the world what it is.”

St. John’s is ranked #25 in ESPN’s way-too-early preseason Top 25.