Rawle Alkins, a five-star shooting guard in the Class of 2016 and the top recruit in the state of New York just committed to The University of Arizona. Sean Miller flexed his muscles despite jumping into the game late and making less than substantial traction, and as a result the Wildcats still look like bona fide Pac-12 contenders next year with the additions of Alkins as well as Kobi Simmons and perhaps vaunted recruit Josh Jackson on the way as well.
There were a slew of contenders for Alkins' services including the St. John's Red Storm. Chris Mullin, Matt Abdelmassih, and Barry "Slice" Rohrssen have made no bones about it since coming together last year that they would hit the ground running on the recruiting trail and, so far, it's paid its fair share of dividends.
If you don't believe me, take a look at the 247Sports' Composite Rankings for the BIG EAST in 2016:
The Johnnies are still out in front of the Xavier Musketeers, Butler Bulldogs and the back-to-back-to-back regular season champion Villanova Wildcats so far in the recruiting realm. Though Villanova and perhaps Marquette as well may not be done yet, the Red Storm likely won't fall too far down the chute with the talent that they have amassed so far.
Their class has three prized four-star recruits, most notably Shamorie Ponds, a talented combo guard originally from Rochester, New York and the third-best player in the Empire State.
Joining Ponds in this class is Bashir Ahmed. This four-star small forward, who currently is attending Hutchinson Community College, is perhaps the most talented JUCO transfer in the country and is the No. 1 player in the state of Kansas. And finally, there is Richard Freudenberg, a 6-foot-8 small forward all the way from Munich, Germany who was a huge get for the Red Storm, having competed against Texas, Vanderbilt, Duke and Gonzaga for his services.
The Red Storm still likely aren't done yet. They've been in pursuit of highly talented and touted prospect Thon Maker, a five-star 7-footer who is currently the top prospect in the basketball-rich state of Virginia. Whether they obtain his services is up in the air too - Arizona State holds a multiple furlong lead in the 247Sports Crystal Ball for Maker at this juncture - but crazier things have been known to happen.
Plus, St. John's will likely be getting the services of Marcus LoVett in 2016, too. LoVett had to sit out this year as a partial qualifier but should be eliible to play next season. Essentially, with Ponds, Ahmed, Freudenberg and LoVett coming in, it's almost as if the Red Storm are bringing four four-star recruits into the fold.
And if Mullin and Co.'s jobs thus far have told us anything, they could be able to make some serious waves once 2017 and beyond rolls around with any luck.
So what's next for the Red Storm? Well, more of the same of what's happened thus far. The coaching staff has already connected with a few hits, and could be bound to connect with some more with what's left in 2016, and in 2017 and beyond.
So don't jump off the ledge just yet, St. John's fans. It's been a tough year, but significant progress has been made, and the future still looks pretty bright even with Alkins' commitment to UofA tonight.