Just hours before the St. John's takes on Rutgers on Thursday night, Adam Zagoria reported guard Felix Balamou has been reinstated by the NCAA after sitting out the first two games. Balamou was ruled ineligible due to an unspecified violation, but the program received a favorable ruling on appeal.
The senior guard is eligible immediately but there has been no indication of how many minutes (if any) Balamou will play against the Scarlet Knights.
Chris Mullin, who has grown increasingly frustrated with the NCAA, said on Wednesday that there was no update on Balamou's availability and that the difference between being in the NBA and coaching in college is "you know who your players are."
Balamou, one of three returnees from last season's NCAA tournament team, averaged 9.2 minutes per game in his junior year, along with 1.3 points, 1.3 rebounds and 0.2 assists. The 6'4" athlete averaged 2.0 points per game during his freshman campaign and 1.0 points in 2013-14.
The former Our Savior New American prospect will provide depth in a backcourt that has already lost Marcus LoVett (partial qualifier) and has been counting on Federico Mussini, Malik Ellison, Ron Mvouika and Durand Johnson. Balamou is one of the team's better on-ball defenders, has tremendous athleticism and can provide rebounding and versatility.
Although the native of Guinea is not threat as a jump shooter, he could provide energy, toughness and leadership off the bench.