St. John’s University Men’s Basketball Head Coach Mike Anderson announced the signing of another experienced talent to the Red Storm roster on Tuesday, as Purdue graduate transfer Aaron Wheeler has committed to St. John’s for the 2021-22 season.
Wheeler, a highly touted recruit out of Brewster Academy in 2017, spent the last four years at Purdue, but will have two seasons of NCAA eligibility remaining.
“We’re thrilled to have Aaron join the St. John’s basketball program and University community,” said Anderson. “I’ve been following Aaron’s career for a long time and I think he’ll fit in perfectly with what we’re trying to accomplish here in terms of our style. He has big-game experience and I think that knowledge will be invaluable for our team moving forward.”
This past season, Wheeler, a 6-foot-9, 205-pound forward, appeared in all 28 games and made five starts for a Boilermakers squad that rose as high as no. 20 in the AP poll and earned a no. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The redshirt junior averaged 3.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in 18.3 minutes per outing, reaching double figures three times. Over his final six games, Wheeler averaged 6.2 points and 4.8 boards per contest, including 11 points on 3-of-3 shooting from beyond the arc against Wisconsin and an eight-point, seven-rebound effort against Indiana, both of which resulted in Boilermaker wins. Wheeler shot 7-for-13 from three-point range during that six-game stretch.
During his three seasons at Purdue, the Boilermakers went 10-1 in games where Wheeler finished in double figures.
In 2019-20, Wheeler started nine of the Boilermakers’ 31 games, averaging 3.6 points and 4.2 rebounds in 17.7 minutes per contest. He reached double figures four times, including 11-point efforts in games against Butler and Indiana. Wheeler went a combined 6-of-7 from deep in those two games.
Wheeler’s best offensive output came during his redshirt freshman season in 2018-19, a year that saw Purdue go 26-10 and earn a no. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament before falling in the Elite Eight to eventual national champion Virginia. Wheeler, who appeared in all 36 contests, averaged 4.7 points and 3.0 rebounds in just 13.7 minutes per game, shooting 36.5 percent (31-for-85) from beyond the arc. His 31 triples were the 10th most by a freshman in Purdue history. Wheeler saved his best performances for the toughest competition, shooting 17-for-35 (48.6%) from deep against ranked foes. Of his four double-figure scoring performances, all were against Big Ten teams and three were against ranked foes. Wheeler averaged 5.5 points and 3.3 rebounds during the Boilermakers’ NCAA Tournament run.
Wheeler’s father, William Jr., played basketball at Manhattan College and was a high school teammate of St. John’s legend Mark Jackson at Brooklyn’s Bishop Loughlin.
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