A former St. John’s coach on how the transfer guard can impact the Pirates, on and off the court.
SOUTH ORANGE – Kadary Richmond is not an overly demonstrative college basketball player. Seton Hall’s point guard is more clinical than emotional. So it was noteworthy that the senior practically had steam shooting from his ears during a late-September practice.
That’s because Dylan Addae-Wusu was in those ears all afternoon – talking, prodding, goading.
“That’s how I play the game,” Addae-Wusu said. “That’s how you’ve got to play the game.”
Toward the end of practice, after Richmond sliced to the tin and finished a layup through Addae-Wusu’s contact, Richmond unleashed a three-second howl that shook the walls.
Addae-Wusu nodded in approval. He’d lit the fire.
“The competition, the intensity level is very high,” he said. “That’s how you get over the hump.”
‘A match made in heaven’
It’s no accident that Hall coach Shaheen Holloway pursued Addae-Wusu in the transfer portal after the combo guard from New York played three years at St. John’s.
“I think it’s a match made in heaven,” said former St. John’s assistant Greg “Shoes” Vetrone, who spent the past two seasons coaching Addae-Wusu. “He’s going to thrive with Shaheen coaching him. He plays how Shaheen coaches – tough.”
“Dylan is as tough of a kid as I ever coached in 34 years,” Vetrone said.
When Addae-Wusu was in the portal, Vetrone said, Memphis expressed interest. Vetrone has a good relationship with Tigers coach Penny Hardaway; former St. John’s forward David Jones wound up transferring there in the offseason.
“I told Dylan’s father, ‘Shaheen is perfect for your son,’” Vetrone said.
Last winter the 6-foot-4 Addae-Wusu averaged 9.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists while shooting 36.4 percent from 3-point range. But Vetrone said that was only part of the story.
“The things that Dylan brings into a locker room are toughness and he’s going to hold guys accountable, because he’s going to work his (butt) off every day in practice,” Vetrone said. “I’ve never seen anyone sweat so much. By the end of practice, his shirt is soaked.”
Vetrone said if St. John’s All-Big East center, Joel Soriano, was having a sluggish practice, Addae-Wusu would lean into him hard – literally, if need be. On the flip side, right after Jones’ father died, Addae-Wusu “lifted that kid up” with a pep talk that inspired him to a 16-point, 7-rebound effort in a five-point Johnnies upset of 20th-ranked Providence.
“He’ll be a captain at Seton Hall next year (as a postgrad), you watch,” Vetrone said.
Holloway said Addae-Wusu already is mentoring sophomore guard Jaquan Sanders, who looks much improved. They both attended high school at Our Savior Lutheran in the Bronx.
“That’s like my little brother,” Addae-Wusu said of Sanders. “I want for him what I want for myself – he can be a big-time player if he locks in.”
As for Richmond, Vetrone said, “I think Dylan’s going to help him, big time.”
Addae-Wusu put it this way: “We’re both New York guys, both seniors, and we both want the same thing – we’re coming together to win big. He’s welcomed me with open arms.”
It seems likely that Seton Hall will start three guards and a wing: Richmond, Addae-Wusu, Al-Amir Dawes and Dre Davis. One of them will have to defend power forwards
Laura Davis covers the world of basketball with precision. Her articles explore NBA and college basketball, offering game analysis, player profiles, and highlights. Laura’s passion for hoops is evident in her comprehensive basketball coverage.