It's early, no players have committed, but so far, Chris Mullin and his assistant Matt Abdelmassih have gotten to quick work, reaching out to players who can help next year and in the future.
Before Steve Lavin and St. John's parted ways, the 2015 and 2016 recruiting was a giant question mark, with Lavin only having three guard commits (one top-50 guard, Brandon Sampson), while also on a late hunt for a pair of coveted big men in Cheick Diallo and Georgios Papagiannis and Italian guard Federico Mussini - but with each of those players with high-end suitors, no lock to come to St. John's.
And with Chris Obekpa and Rysheed Jordan strongly considering leaving, and few players strongly leaning towards St. John's in the 2016 class, the future looked very murky.
The first issue is putting a team on the floor next year, with only part-time bench players Amar Alibegovic, Felix Balamou, Christian Jones, Adonis Delarosa and walk-on Joey Delarosa expected to return next season.
Could Chris Obekpa return?
For one, Chris Obekpa has spoken to Mullin and attended yesterday's press conference. Obekpa, who was suspended for two weeks after a failed drug test (sources say marijuana, and the length indicates it wasn't the first time), could consider a return to the red and white for one more season. With some work, Obekpa can be a better performer, and highlight skills to attract him to NBA teams.
St. John's after Damion Lee
For two, according to the New York Post, St. John's has reached out to dynamic forward Damion Lee, a talented forward from Drexel University who will graduate with a year left of eligibility - meaning he'll be available for next season.
St. John's has expressed interest in Drexel transfer Damion Lee and there is mutual interest, per source. #sjubb— Zach Braziller (@NYPost_Brazille) April 2, 2015
Lee, a 6'6" small forward who averaged 21 points, six rebounds, two steals and two turnovers per game for the Drexel Dragons, is a dynamic forward with a lot of interest in his services. He also shot 38.5% from beyond the three-point line.
Here's him talking about how the staff called him "Coach Lee", his ACL injury suffered against Arizona in the NIT Season Tip-Off in 2013, and more.
Lee is coveted by high-major programs, including Maryland.
St. John's still strong with Cheick Diallo - so far
2015 target Cheick Diallo is still considering St. John's despite Lavin's departure. The addition of Matt Abdelmassih, who was recruiting Diallo for Iowa State and seemed to have them ahead of St. John's, has to help.
Diallo win the MVP of the McDonald's All-American game last night. As for the effect of a coaching change - Diallo addresses it at about the 1:00 mark of the video below (h/t @ChrisSTJ128).
St. John's offers Rawle Alkins
Meanwhile, Mullin, unburdened with the issues Steve Lavin and the Christ the King High School head coach had with each other, has already offered star 2016 guard Rawle Alkins.
Finally got that St.Johns Offer I've been wanting !— Rawle Alkins (@Iam_RawleAlkins) April 1, 2015