One of the best players in the class of 2015 still remained on the recruiting trail but Chris Mullin wasn't able to convince him to stay in his home state of New York.
2015 power forward Cheick Diallo, from Centereach, NY, has committed to Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks over St. John's, Kentucky, Iowa State and Pittsburgh. Diallo was the MVP of both the Jordan Brand Classic at the Barclays Center and the McDonald's All-American Game in Chicago.
Diallo's decision was expected to come down to the Jayhawks, Wildcats and Johnnies after the big man recently had in-house visiting with all three coaches, including Mullin twice.
The Our Savior New American School prospect is a talented power forward who has an fantastic motor, great length, strong rebounding skills and a knack for finding the basketball. For a 6'9" player, Diallo is impressive in transition, sometimes beating smaller quicker guards down the floor, but he also needs to work on his jump shot and post moves to be more effective player in half court sets at the college level.
While Kansas looks like a top five team next season, the Johnnies are still searching for options to fill out their roster for the upcoming year. With Chris Obekpa and Rysheed Jordan returning they do have two solid pieces to start with (if both continue to develop on and off the court), but there isn't "young star power" (like a Diallo or Brandon Sampson) around the two returnees to expect to contend for a position in the top half of the Big East.
The Red Storm has strong hope for the future though as Mullin has been very active despite the recent misses and what will be a rebuilding year in 2015. St. John's still remains involved in Italian point guard Federico Mussini, Marcus Lovett, Craig Randall, Malik Ellison and multiple transfers (including Durand Johnson). They also are strongly involved in AAU teammates, Mustapha Heron and Rawle Alkins, who seem to be a high priority for 2016.
Yes, this would have been a monster addition for the Johnnies but it's going to take time for Mullin to establish himself as a college recruiter. Yes, he is a Hall of Famer, he has hired a terrific staff and the addition of Diallo would have changed the program right away, but everything is not going to build itself over night.
The roster may not be what everyone in Queens hoped for but the activity doesn't end here. St. John's still has three scholarships remaining.