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Simon, Clark receiving attention as impact transfers

Big things are expected of the two newcomers to the St. John’s program.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

This week, Justin Simon and Marvin Clark II, two now-eligible transfers from Arizona and Michigan State, respectively, have popped up as likely impact transfers for Chris Mullin’s St. John’s squad.

The latest is Jon Rothstein’s list of 20 Impact Transfers, where he calls Simon a “freak athlete” and a key piece for the Red Storm on defense. Meanwhile, Clark is listed as “tougher than a two-dollar steak” and cites his ability to guard the low post and step out on offense.

The earlier piece is from Rivals, where they remark on Justin Simon’s skill set:

As a high schooler, Simon was the definition of a utility guard during high school. He played all three perimeter positions, had an all-around game and could be used as a lockdown defender. Look for a much more confident and physically tough version of Simon at St. John's. If he's improved his jump shooting, he could be a big producer on offense but there's not much question he should help defensively.

It stands to reason a lot of attention would be drawn by two highly-rated players who came to New York to continue their careers.

Simon was a five-star guard, while Clark was a highly-rated four-star player. Each has areas of the game to work on, but both have been eagerly anticipated as players who can move the most recent St. John’s rebuild up to the next level.

Both are cited for their defense, a major issue for the Red Storm to shore up. Scheme and coaching can help with defense, but the Johnnies didn’t have Simon’s length and Clark’s strength in the paint.

Will the two transfers match the lofty expectations? How high can St. John’s go with those two added to the lineup?