The future continues to look bright for Chris Mullin and St. John's as one of the top JUCO prospect in the country, Bashir Ahmed, committed to the Red Storm on Saturday afternoon. The Hutchinson Community College small forward is a Bronx native (John F. Kennedy High School) and will be the second homegrown New York area prospect to commit to the Johnnies as part of their 2016 recruiting class.
Mullin and his staff beat out Oregon, Oklahoma State, Cincinnati, Texas and others for Ahmed, who is averaging 19.2 points and 7.2 rebounds in his second year with the Blue Dragons. Ahmed visited the Red Storm for their two embarrassing losses against Incarnate Word and NJIT, but clearly the 2015 struggles did not effect his decision to stay home and represent New York City.
Ahmed, a 2014-15 NJCAA All-American and Jayhawk West Freshman of the Year, is an athletic wing with good size, solid touch from three and the ability to make plays off the dribble. The 6'7" forward will play on the perimeter alongside 2015 four-star guard Marcus LoVett (who remains a partial qualifier), combo guard and 2016 prospect Shamorie Ponds and 2015 Italian guard Federico Mussini. Ahmed's versatility will improve a backcourt that will consist of plenty of playmaking, long range shooting and craftiness off the dribble.
Felix Balamou, Ron Mvouika and Durand Johnson will be moving on next season due to graduation, but with the young upside of other players like Yankuba Sima, Tariq Owens (who will be eligible in 2016), Kassoum Yakwe and Malik Ellison, the Johnnies will have plenty of talent to make up for the team's lone senior and two graduate transfers.
Now Matt Abdelmassih, Barry 'Slice' Rohrssen and the Red Storm will focus on five-star former Christ the King guard Rawle Alkins, German forward Richard Freudenberg and seven-foot Canadien talent Thon Maker. The Johnnies are in good position with Freudenberg and remain in the mix for Alkins, but Maker seems to be a long shot.