One of the most important parts of coaching, of leadership, is hiring a strong team. Chris Mullin's early on-court results at St. John's may be rough - that 8-22 record is only softened by NOT going winless in Big East play.
But nationally, the efforts St. John's have achieved on the recruiting trail, forging a whole new team and culture, have been noticed.
ESPN's Jeff Borzello surveyed coaches to get feedback on the best recruiters at the assistant coach level. St. John's assistant Matt Abdelmassih, a St. John's grad who has returned to his alma mater to help Mullin's efforts, is listed as the best recruiter in terms of landing transfer talent. From ESPN ($):
One of the major keys to success for Fred Hoiberg at Iowa State was his use of transfers - and Abdelmassih was the main man for most of the transfers, including DeAndre Kane and Royce White. He's beginning to do the same at St. John's for Chris Mullin.
Abdelmassih helped land Darien Williams (now sidelined with a shoulder injury) who had committed to Iowa State. He helped Mullin land Tennessee transfer Tariq Owens.
But his skill isn't just with transfers.
He had been recruiting Kassoum Yakwe for Iowa State and brought the team's emerging forward to St. John's. And Abdelmassih was the lead on the top-20 rated incoming class, while Barry Rohrssen is chasing Thon maker and rawle Alkins, the most well-known recruits in this cycle.