The Sidney Wilson era at St. John’s: Spring 2017-Summer 2017.
The late star of the 2017 class, forward Sidney Wilson of the Bronx, is transferring from the St. John’s program - a blow to the roster that already has three players sitting out.
Wilson expressed dissatisfaction with his “situation” over the weekend on social media, and according to the NY Post, had decided with Coach Chris Mullin to stay yesterday... until announcing he was leaving today.
“A lot has happened in my life over the last few years,” Wilson said in a press release. “These factors played a large part in my decision to stay close to home, but unfortunately I recently realized it was not what is best for me at this time to manage adversity in my life.
“I am grateful for the opportunity that St. John’s provided me and for the support of Coach Mullin and the rest of the staff throughout this difficult process,” said Wilson. “In order for me to grow as a person and basketball player, I feel that I need to begin something new to explore what is next in my life. Although I know the grass isn’t always greener, this is a risk I am willing to take for personal reasons.”
From the NY Post:
Initially Wilson was slated to be a high school senior this year, but in the spring he decided to reclassify. His recruitment, as a result, was rushed. His family was pushing St. John’s, sources said, and he felt being back home would be good for him. Instead, it felt like a “burden,” one source said.
For Wilson, best of luck as he chooses to move on and away from family/ city pressures. Expect Texas, one of his suitors this spring, to be in the mix; Syracuse recently lost forward Taurean Thompson to transfer, and they could also be a landing spot, as could Connecticut.
For St. John’s... we said spring recruiting was wild when Wilson suddenly became an option. The rushed spring process brought in a player who did not even stay for his first weeks of fall classes.
The Johnnies are left a bit short-handed, with Shamorie Ponds, Marcus LoVett and Justin Simon leading the backcourt, Tariq Owens, Marvin Clark, Bashir Ahmed and Kassoum Yakwe handling the frontcourt, and Amar Alibegovic and Bryan Trimble giving minutes as well.
That nine player rotation will enjoy heavy minutes this year, and the team will be vulnerable in case of injury.
The plan was for Wilson to have a legitimate chance to start in his second year as a wing. Now, with Bashir Ahmed and Amar Alibegovic leaving (and eyes on Marcus LoVett as well, who thought about professional opportunities this spring), the Johnnies will have a need for a dynamic wing player in 2018-19.
That player could be Boubacar Diakite, the commit who enrolled early this week but will recover from a knee injury as a redshirt.
With three more scholarships to work with next year, and one open all 2017-18 season, the Red Storm can actively keep an eye on players who choose to transfer midseason, while other programs would not have scholarship space on their roster.
That is a positive, as Chris Mullin and his staff also work to earn October commitments from Luther Muhammad, the four-star New Jersey guard, Josh Roberts, the Alabama forward visiting this weekend, and others.
But despite the excitement of adding Michigan State transfer Marvin Clark and Arizona transfer Justin Simon, losing a four-star wing in Sidney Wilson who could have really helped this season is a blow to the Johnnies’ aspirations.