Last week’s press conference introducing Hall of Famer and Brooklyn native Chris Mullin as head coach was one of the more exciting moments in recent St. John’s history. While fans are clearly excited for his arrival, both the fans and Chris Mullin know that he has a difficult task ahead of him. Mullin must replenish a roster that is losing six seniors and possibly two juniors in Chris Obekpa and Rysheed Jordan.
At the press conference, Mullin talked about recruiting players from the local talent pool. It has been less than a week on the job for Mullin, but so far he has lived up to this promise. Mullin and his new assistant, Matt Abdelmassih, have extended offers to many highly touted local prospects - and to Steve Lavin's top committed player.
Sampson originally committed to St. John’s but backed out when Steve Lavin left the program. St. John’s is still interested in Sampson and Coach Mullin plans to meet with the guard this week. UCLA, LSU, SMU, and Tulane have shown interest in Sampson since he has reopened his recruiting process.
Owens played at Tennessee last year, but is planning to transfer due to the recent coaching change (Donnie Tyndall fired, Rick Barnes hired). The 6’10 center averaged 1.2 ppg and 1.1 rebounds in his limited playing time. His father, Renard Owens - who is from Queens - told SNY that his son plans to visit St. John’s.
St. John's has offered the former JFK High School wing, according to the NY Post. He is currently a freshman at top JUCO program Hutchinson Community College. He earned a JUCO All-American Honorable mention.
2017 class (updates from NY Post, SNY)
Tucker is a 6’7 sophomore who plays at Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains. He is rated highly in the class of 2017 and has already received interest from Arizona, Connecticut and Syracuse.
Diallo is a 6’4 sophomore from Queens who plays at Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut. St. John’s assistant coach, Matt Abdelmassih extended an offer to the guard this past week. The precocious neophyte already holds offers from Providence, Iowa State, Minnesota, and other high major programs.
2018 class (update from NY Post, SNY)
Reid is a center who plays at Roselle Catholic in New Jersey. While he is only a freshman, the big has already received interests from UConn, Virginia, N.C. State, Maryland, Kentucky and Iowa State. St. John’s is wise to get involved with Reid early in his recruiting process.