St. John's traveled a long way to pay a visit on a Louisiana guard named Greg Williams this week, while also pursuing local high-level talent. The staff is treating this as a critical week for the recruiting effort for 2018, which will be a year to build on the three-year progress Chris Mullin hopes to make at St. John’s.
Great wk out ahead- stops in Louisiana, St Louis, Chicago, Virginia, Philly, Baltimore, DC, & Fla. Practice around the corner ✈️ ⚪️ #sjubb— Matt Abdelmassih (@mabde33) September 18, 2016
St John's assistant Matt Abdelmassih in Louisiana today for 2018 guard Greg Williams. #sjubb very high on the 3 star— Zach Braziller (@NYPost_Brazille) September 19, 2016
Chris Mullin and head recruiter Matt Abdelmassih have paid visits to local stars Moses Brown at Molloy, to the Ranney school’s Bryan Antoine and Scottie Lewis... but also flew a thousand miles away to check in on this Louisiana guard.
We don’t know a lot about Williams. And he hasn’t been mentioned nationally in the same breath as some of the local stars. But he can score in bunches, scoring eight points in 30 official seconds here.
And he has some hops.
The only evaluation we have on Williams is from Future 150, which highlights his skill as a shooter and his athleticism.
...Williams is the most explosive [player at the camp]. He vaults into the sky to either score or tug down offensive rebounds. Players like him compete a foot higher than the competition. His play over the weekend gives him MVP honors for the Summit Camp.
As recruits go, the Johnnies have been in the hunt for a number of highly thought of players. But adding in players who are about to blow up is always key - instead of only aiming at clear four-star recruits who have been chased by the Ohio States of the country, the staff is looking towards a player who could, perhaps, use the development that Mullin’s staff hopes to offer.
And obviously, taking a day to go all the way down to Louisiana to see a prospect (one that they likely saw on the Under Armour AAU circuit as well) speaks to the regard the staff holds for him. Similarly, the staff identified Our Savior New American (LI) wing Boubacar Diakite for the 2018 class and secured an early commitment from him - building the future roster well in advance, instead of hustling for players at the last recruiting period.
The forward planning game looks strong. But are these the players that can help bring the Red Storm to prominence? Are the staff identifying players that want to be part of the rebuild?
Time will tell, but the Red Storm are hustling all over the map to be seen by kids in gyms - and to evaluate prospects that fit what Chris Mullin wants to do.