Can't say that St. John's efforts in recruiting and improving the talent level on the Red Storm haven't been aggressive.
The Johnnies have made the top-10 of Trevon Duval, a 2017 guard that's considered a top-10 guard in many scouting services, including the 247 Sports composite.
Now, you may think that St. John's already has a quartet of guards, or that there are 14 players who could be under scholarship next season (obviously, one will leave).
But Chris Mullin and Matt Abdelmassih know that talent always find a way to play, and making a nationally-relevant squad means that some players find their role starting or on the bench for the good of the team - and still enjoy professional success. So they have followed Trevon Duval on the Under Armour circuit, letting him know that he fits into their plans.
Scouting Trevon Duval
Why are teams after Duval, a talented played from New Castle, Delaware? He's a one-man point guard mixtape with high-level potential:
And he does all that despite being a poor shooter from outside the arc and from the free throw line.
From Draft Express:
Duval proved to be one of the best point guard prospects in attendance both in terms of his play and his physical profile. From a purely physical standpoint, Duval looks the part of an NBA point guard at 6'2” with a very mature 190-plus pound frame, and at least a 6' 7” wingspan. He possesses a tremendous first step and an ability to shift gears with force as well as the vertical explosiveness to play above the rim in space.
Maybe the most positive development for Duval revolves around the progression he appears to have made with his jump shot. While he still has a ways to go and the mechanics are a bit rigid, Duval has found some semblance of consistency as he's shooting the ball the same way every time both off the catch and on his mid-range pull up. Having shot only 2-of-27 from 3 (7.4%) and 50-for-94 from the free throw line (53.2%) according to our database, any signs of growth are a positive for Duval. His upper body is a bit locked and robotic but he's getting solid rotation and shooting a set shot every time.
And from ESPN:
Duval has the athleticism and explosiveness to be built in the same prototype as the likes of Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose, but ultimately that's not a guarantee that he'll reach the same level of stardom. Instead, that will depend on the continued progression of his game, specifically as it relates to his understanding of the nuances of the point guard position, his overall efficiency and ability to raise the level of those around him.
This is a player that could use the tutelage of a couple of shooters like Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond, one could say.
High school concerns
So, we know that sometimes players switch high schools for exposure... which sometimes leaves players in precarious academic situations.
Trevon Duval played at St. Benedict’s in New Jersey, but moved on to Advanced Prep International in Dallas, coached by Ray Fossett.
Fossett was previously the coach at Prime Prep, but API is supposedly not connected to Prime Prep, a Dallas school that was started by Deion Sanders until it closed under allegations of theft. More importantly for basketball recruiting, Prime Prep was the school that Emmanuel Mudiay attended - the one that left him ineligible for college. Terrance Ferguson, recruited by St. John’s as well, also was ineligible after his time at Prime Prep. Mudiay played a year in China and is now in the NBA with the Denver Nuggets. Ferguson is playing this year in Australia.
This year, Duval is supposed to transfer to a school closer to home, but he has not announced where yet.
The competition for Duval
The list of Duval’s schools are St. John's, Seton Hall, Villanova , Maryland, California, Southern California, Kansas, Arizona, Oregon and UCLA. The's five from the Pac-12 and three from the Big East... and Maryland. Obviously, he’s not concerned about staying close to home.
That list doesn’t have to be restrictive. Players have added teams to their list late, though each player only gets five official visits to colleges.
If his school choice is less controversial, will Duke and Kentucky get involved? According to Duval, Kentucky is “starting to get more involved”, though they didn’t make the top-10.
No official visits are set, but we will be tracking to see if St. John's can get close enough to make it a race - and then bring in the bright lights of New York into play.