Chris Mullin and his staff were heavily involved in the recruitment of 5-star guard Mustapha Heron but on Sunday, the Sacred Heart (CT) High School product pulled a shocker, committing to Bruce Pearl and the Auburn Tigers on a visit this weekend.
Heron, who is ranked 26th in ESPN's top 100 recruiting rankings for 2016, was considering five schools, Auburn, St. John's, Mississippi State, Maryland and Marquette, but the Johnnies were thought to have the upper hand given Barry Rohrssen's relationship with Heron's family.
The 6'5" talent committed to Pittsburgh when Rohrssen was an assistant and the current St. John's associate head coach played with Heron's dad, Bryan, overseas.
The West Haven, CT native is a physical, strong shooting guard, who can handle the ball, attack the basket, finish through contact and make dynamic plays in transition. He won't blow defenders away with his athleticism and developing jump shot but he is a talented scorer and a lockdown defensive player, all while showing great durability and stamina.
This takes the Johnnies out of the mix for a possible Heron/Rawle Alkins package that could have sent shockwaves throughout the Big East and entire college basketball community. Mullin is likely to turn his focus to Alkins, shot blocker Kassoum Yakwe (who is coming off his recent visit to St. John's), "bucket getter" Shamorie Ponds and top JUCO prospect Bashir Ahmed.
Heron will receive immediate playing time at Auburn as he will join 4-star point guard Jared Harper and California power forward Andernee McLemore in Pearl's 2016 recruiting class.