With two open scholarships for the 2016 season, St. John's is looking for more difference makers that can play alongside a plethora of young emerging talent, including Marcus LoVett, Bashir Ahmed, Federico Mussini, Shamorie Ponds and Yankuba Sima.
One of the targets for Chris Mullin and his staff is five-star big man Thon Maker, who is currently attending the Athletic Institute Basketball Academy in Orangeville Ontario, Canada. The 7'0" center flirted with possibly re-classifying to 2015 (with Kentucky and Indiana heavily interested in his services) before deciding to play one more season of high school basketball with his brother, Matur.
Maker has offers from Florida State, Notre Dame, Arizona State, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky and UNLV, in addition to St. John's, but has a connection with Red Storm associate head coach Barry 'Slice' Rohrssen, who recruited him under John Calipari. Rohrssen's presence and Maker's fondness of the New York arena and the bright lights of Madison Square Garden has made a visit to Queens a realistic possibility in the future.
"He recruited me at Kentucky and he's a pretty cool dude," Maker said about Slice to Adam Zagoria of SNY. "I don't know much about St. John's, to be honest. But I definitely know about New York City, that's one of my favorite cities around the world.
The versatile prospect is projected as a late round pick in the 2017 NBA Draft because of his ability to handle the ball, his activity on the glass and his physical attributes. College coaches and NBA decision makers have had their eyes on Maker for a while due to his length and size.
Maker, a native of Sudan, needs to work on his feel, touch, outside jump shot and his thin frame, but he has great energy and plenty of skills that can be developed at the college level.
While the pursuit of Maker is intriguing, St. John's seems to be in good shape with Bayern Munich forward Richard Freudenberg (according to the New York Post) and has remained active with five-star Word of God and former Christ The King small forward Rawle Alkins.