The plot has thickened for St. John's pursuit of Rawle Alkins, the 6'5" wing originally from Christ The King HS, now playing at North Carolina's Word of God Academy.
St. John's has been in hot pursuit of the physical guard, who thinks he can shore up his shooting and become a three-point marksman; Alkins respects Mullin and has Red Storm recruit Shamorie Ponds in his ear about coming. And his recruiting weekend in New York found him hobnobbing with NBA stars.
Still, now he's going to visit the Arizona Wildcats. For the second time in two weeks, with this visit being an official. The rumor mill now has Alkins as an Arizona lean, where he was "trending" toward St. John's in the past:
Alkins also enjoyed his trip to the desert to officially visit UNLV and now will check out Arizona, one ot the nation's best programs, who have been in the top-20 all year.
The physical attacking wing would be a great home town get, and would accelerate the improvement of Chris Mullin's team, where he would be the unquestioned leader on a young and developing squad.
On the other hand, Alkins has repeatedly said that playing at home is not a huge draw for him. And as far as the on-court factors, Arizona looks to be very deep and talented next year.
The Wildcats have guards Allonzo Trier, Parker Jackson-Cartwright, Kadeem Allen and Justin Simon along with incoming top-20 guard Kobi Simmons slated to be on next year's roster; obviously, the appeal of Arizona is not guaranteed playing time.
But they look to continue to be an NCAA Tournament mainstay and a nationally-relevant squad.
The Red Storm have competed with Arizona for recruits before.
St. John's lost out on NY wing Kevin Parrom years ago to Arizona; their lead recruiter, Book Richardson, has strong New York City ties - he played at St. Raymond's and for the Gauchos and grew up in the Bronx. A number of Steve Lavin's early targets chose Arizona as well, including Josiah Turner and Nick Johnson.