One year after Chris Mullin led St. John's to its second Final Four in school history back in 1985, it was Pervis Ellison and the Louisville Cardinals who took home the 1986 NCAA title. Now three decades later, Ellison's son, Malik, is ready to join Mullin in Queens as a part of the Red Storm's massive rebuilding effort in 2015-16.
Malik Ellison, a Voorhees, N.J.-native, became only the fourth commit landed by this new St. John's staff back in the beginning of May. Now as the season gets under way, the 6'6" guard will be called on to fill multiple holes for a Red Storm team that will feature almost entirely new faces.
How He Got Here
Ellison attended Life Center Academy in New Jersey for his senior year of high school, in which he averaged 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists per game throughout the season.
After the impressive senior campaign, Ellison was able to vault himself into the national recruiting ranks, as he received a three-star rating from both both 247 Sports and ESPN. This is especially impressive considering the broken tibia that he suffered during the summer heading into his senior season, which costed him the first part of the year.
As Ellison continued to work his way back from injury and shine throughout his senior year, the offers began flooding in. Aside from St. John's, Ellison also received strong interest from Rutgers, South Carolina and Minnesota.
Eventually it would come down to those four schools, and ultimately Ellison would chose St. John's on May 1 and sign his letter of intent five days later.
"Malik is an explosive athlete who comes from an outstanding basketball family," said Mullin in the school's announcement of his commitment. He, along with the rest of the Red Storm coaches and fans, will have to hope that some of that basketball family talent is evident in Ellison's freshman season.
What He Brings to the Table
Ellison has quite the diverse skill set, with the ability to score from plenty of different spots on the floor, almost similar to Red Storm legend and recent graduate D`Angelo Harrison. In fact, Phil Neuffer of Big East Coast Bias, noted on this relationship from a post back in August. "Ellison could very well step in right away and take all the shots that Harrison left behind in Queens," wrote Neuffer.
Ellison showed a glimpse of this scoring potential in the Red and White Scrimmage on Saturday, as he notched 14 points on 4-15 shooting, including 2-6 from 3-point range.
Neuffer also noted the importance of Ellison's ability to move without the ball, a skill that he will have to continue developing this season, especially with Federico Mussini and Marcus Lovett likely running the point.
Where He Fits In
It's hard to predict whether or not Ellison will be a starter for the Red Storm on opening night, although he should see a decent amount of playing time for the Red Storm this season. If Mullin and his staff want to, they could use Ellison as a scoring threat to provide a spark off the bench, or he could end up starting some games as the season gets going.
Either way St. John's fans can expect to see a solid share of Ellison for this upcoming season.