It’s been less than two weeks since Chris Mullin was announced head coach of his alma mater and already Mullin has three players committed to St. John’s. Just today, St. John’s landed a commitment from 2015 center Yankuba Sima from Spain. Sima is a three-star recruit but is long and will bring rebounding to a St. John’s team that only averaged 35 per game in 2014-15. Sima — although very athletic — is raw, but what 18-year-old big man isn’t? Bigs like Jahlil Okafor are an aberration.
Now Mullin has moved back to the East Coast for the first time since he scored 2,440 points while wearing scarlet and white, and has already landed two other recruits in his short time back.
First, Mullin brought in Tennessee transfer Tariq Owens. Owens averaged 1.2 points and 1.1 rebounds per game in limited action for the Vols this season. Owens will be a redshirt-sophomore once eligible in the 2016-17 season.
Mullin has also brought in junior college player Darien Williams, a tall shooting guard standing at 6-foot-8. Williams was recruited by Matt Abdelmassih at Iowa State. Abdelmassih has since been brought on to the St. John’s coaching staff by Mullin, so Williams’ move to St. John’s makes sense. It isn’t uncommon for a junior college player to have an impact at the division I level. Utah’s Delon Wright recently won the Cousy award after playing two years at City College of San Francisco, the same junior college Williams attended.
There’s no rest for the weary — Mullin has also made an offer to junior Rawle Atkins from Christ the King. Atkins is a combo-guard and is widely considered to be the best player in New York City in the 2016 class.
Mullin and the St. John’s staff are also in the hunt for 2015 big man Cheick Diallo, ranked No. 11 in the ESPN 100. Diallo would be a huge get for Mullin and his staff considering he also has offers from the likes of Kentucky, Kansas and Iowa State to name a few.
It’s been an arduous two weeks for Mullin and St. John’s, but the lefty marksman that led the Johnnies to the 1985 Final Four is no stranger to hard work.
James Szuba is a college basketball writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @JamesSzuba.