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New assistant announced for St. John’s men’s basketball

Van Macon officially joins the St. John’s coaching staff, joining TJ Cleveland and head coach Mike Anderson.

NCAA Basketball: Arkansas at Vanderbilt Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

St. John’s continues to staff up for the new program, as head coach Mike Anderson looks to make local inroads.

Van Macon, an Associate Head Coach at St. Louis who also worked with Rutgers and Hofstra under Mike Rice, Eddie Jordan and Tom Pecora, was officially announced as an assistant on the staff.

“I’m thrilled to be able to return to New York and join the staff of Coach Anderson, who I’ve known and admired for many years,” said Macon. ”I’m excited to hit the ground running and help New York’s team reach the highest levels of the college game.”

The 48-year old Long Island native has extensive experience on the east coast, and experience recruiting talented NYC-area players. At aint Louis, he was credited with bringing in rebounding maching Hasahn French, beating St. John’s, among others, for French’s services.

St. John’s continues to build a staff. TJ Cleveland, who was named Associate Head Coach, is the nephew of new coach Mike Anderson. Cleveland is no nepotism hire; he has worked closely with Anderson at UAB, Missouri and Arkansas, has been regarded as an excellent recruiter and coach.

With two experienced coaches for the three on-court coaching spots in place, the Red Storm are said to be looking at veteran coaches like Steve DeMeo (Northwest Florida CC) and Joe Esposito (formerly an assistant with Tubby Smith in a number of locations, and most recently at UNLV under Marvin Menzies).

Jim Ferry (former head coach currently at Penn State), NY Rens’ Andy Borman and some other local names have also been mentioned as possibilities. While Greg St. Jean has moved on to other work, Director of Basketball Operations Chris Huey has remained, and may be with the new staff.

The supposed look of the staff features Anderson along with a coach who has been with him as a player and coach for over 20 years in Cleveland, an experienced recruiter with ability to connect with New York players, and more local flavor.

For this coming season, recruiting will be about filling in the gaps and allowing the returning players to shine as much as possible. But the future looks to have a mix of local regional talent and junior college players, the formula Anderson has used to solid success at his previous head coaching stops.