Tani Oluwaseyi earned Big East offensive player of the year honors in 2019. (Photo courtesy of St. John’s SID)
QUEENS, N.Y. – After winning the Big East offensive player of the year award and leading St. John’s University to the NCAA Division I Round of 16 in 2019, junior forward Tani Oluwaseyi has been named to the preseason watch list for the MAC Hermann Trophy, it was announced Thursday afternoon.
Oluwaseyi was among 34 players named on the men’s list.
The first St. John’s player to be named to the preseason watch list for the nation’s top honor since Tim Parker in 2014, Oluwaseyi became the first Johnnie to be named conference offensive player of the year since Medufia Kulego during the national championship campaign of 1996.
The Mississauga, Ontario product found the back of the net 11 times last season, becoming the first St. John’s player since 2003 to record double-digit goals. Oluwaseyi, who also dished out five assists, finished 27th nationally in goals and 31st in points. He led the Big East in goals, finished second in points and 10th in assists. Five of Oluwaseyi’s seven goals were game-winners.
With Oluwaseyi leading the way offensively, St. John’s put together its best campaign in more than a decade, finishing with a 14-5-1 record and advancing to the Round of 16 for the 12th time in program history. Of the Red Storm’s five losses, all five were to teams that reached at least the second round of the NCAA Tournament, four came against round of 16 teams and two came against the squads that reached the national championship game.
Led by the Big East coaching staff of the year, the Red Storm rose as high as No. 4 in the United Soccer Coaches poll and No. 1 in the RPI with less than three weeks remaining in the regular season. The Johnnies’ No. 16 seed in the NCAA Tournament marked the ninth time that the Johnnies received a national seed in their 21st NCAA Tournament appearance since 1992.
Oluwaseyi leads a talented crop of returneres for the Red Storm, which is set to kick off its season Feb. 13 against Saint Joseph’s at Belson Stadium. The Johnnies welcome back three of their top five scorers from 2019 in Oluwaseyi, Einar Lye (5 goals, 5 assists) and Brandon Knapp (4 goals, 1 assist).