The first of three, five day live recruiting periods in July began on Wednesday and St. John's is right in the middle of all the commotion as they try to rebuild their roster for year's to come.
Two of their top targets in 2016 are 5-star guards Rawle Alkins and Mustapha Heron, who both play their AAU ball with the New York Rens and are in Atlanta this week for the Adidas Gauntlet Finale. Chris Mullin, Barry 'Slice' Rohrssen and Matt Abdelmassih were all attendance for the Rens opening game on Wednesday and watched the teammates drop a combined 37 points and 10 boards.
Alkins, who is transferring from Christ The King to attend prep school this fall, was also being watched by John Calipari, Shaka Smart, Avery Johnson, Larry Brown, Chris Mack and Roy Williams, amongst others, according to SNY.
Meanwhile, Heron's father, Bryan, told SNY on Thursday that his son made a list that consists of SMU, Mississippi State, Maryland, St. John's, Alabama, Auburn and Marquette. That is not Heron's final list, as he will be able to add and subtract teams as summer series continues, but it's promising that the Johnnies are making a positive initial impression with both young talents.
Rohrssen, who was an assistant at Pittsburgh before his time with Kentucky, has a strong relationship with both Heron and his family. The Sacred Heart High School star committed to Pittsburgh initially as a sophomore, but re-opened his recruitment in April.
On Thursday, Mullin and his staff had an eye on Kassoum Yakwe, an underrated 4-star talent from Centereach, NY (Our Savior New American School) who may reclassify to 2015, according to ESPN. Yakwe, from Mali, is an athletic freak, a dominate shot blocker, and an exceptional rebounder but will need to continue to work on his offensive game.
Yakwe scored six points (2-of-3 shooting) and blocked 10 shots (!) in his first Nike Peach Jam game Thursday. The big man has offers from Louisville, Kansas, Maryland, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and UNLV, in addition to St. John's.
The Johnnies also have business to tend to in the 2015 class as 4-star shooting guard Maverick Rowan continues to work to reclassify.
According to ESPN and Scout.com, Rowan has removed Wisconsin from his list (Bo Ryan is retiring following this season) and has added West Virginia into the mix. His current list of schools consists of West Virginia, St. John's, Louisville and North Carolina State.
The Johnnies also will have plenty of recruiting to do next week with the All-American Adidas Camp coming to Long Island and an outdoor game taking place at Rucker Park in Harlem on Wednesday. According to Adam Zagoria, Adidas will host the game at 8:30 p.m. and it will be the first live event for coaches and fans at the park. Heron, Alkins and other top players (including Dennis Smith Jr.) will be playing in the event.