This year continues to be the stark reality of how hard it is to win with an entirely-new basketball team in a major basketball conference. But the record - 7-12 overall and 0-6 in the Big East with no likely wins in sight - has not deterred a high end recruit named Thon Maker from checking out what St. John's has to offer, as mentioned this weekend on the Rumble.
Maker, a 7'1" player who has been surrounded by hype as he develops on the high school level, is at St. John's on an unofficial visit yesterday and today, per SNY.
It may look like a pipe dream, but the effect of Chris Mullin and high-end recruiters Barry Rohrssen and Matt Abdelmassih give the Red Storm a chance.
Maker, an athletic post player with agility and room to fill out his 220-pound frame, comes from the Sudan, then Australia, and has been playing basketball in the United States since 2011.
St. John's won't get a commitment from him this week. But it's good to keep in mind that it COULD happen.
What will play a part in his decision? Sports Illustrated gets some details:
When evaluating schools that are recruiting him, Maker said he is focusing on their coaches and his future teammates. "Playing with good guys that will, like, be in the game, and not half-in, half-out, doing something else in college but fully locked in and playing with guys ... like, knowing who's coming in as a recruiting class the same as me and knowing who's leaving," Maker said. "And then, also, having the right coaching staff [that is] going to get me better."
And on St. John's specifically?
• St. John's: "Once again, they're building also. They just got coach [Chris] Mullin, so with them, they're building, but I'm pretty sure they'll go with more of a pro-set type of thing, running pro stuff."
St. John's already has commitments from combo guard Shamorie Ponds and Bashir Ahmed, local players who will improve the talent level. With interest from Maker, guard Rawle Alkins, and German talent Richard Freudenberg, the Red Storm look to be in great shape for a spectacular 2016 class.