St. John’s sophomore Malik Ellison and senior Darien Williams will transfer, the Queens school announced on Wednesday. Ellison and Williams were both part of Chris Mullin’s first recruiting class after taking the job at his alma mater in March 2015. Ellison committed out of Life Center Academy in New Jersey and Williams came to the Red Storm via San Francisco Community College.
“We want to thank Darien and Malik for their contributions to our basketball program over the past two years,” said Head Coach Chris Mullin in the release sent out by St. John’s. “We wish them much success in their future.”
Ellison played 57 games over his two seasons at St. John’s, starting 35 of those contests. His career averages at St. John’s finish up at 7.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg and 2.6 apg in 23.3 mpg. Ellison chose St. John’s over schools like Minnesota, Rutgers and South Carolina. He will have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out next season, per NCAA transfer rules.
“I would like to thank the coaching staff and administration for supplying a family atmosphere and allowing me to better myself as an individual,” said Ellison in the school’s release. “I also would like to thank all my teammates with whom I spent a great two years with and developed strong bonds that I hope to continue in the future. Obviously, this was a difficult decision, but my family and I have decided it is best for me.”
The 6’6 wing is the son of Louisville Cardinals legend and 1986 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player Pervis Ellison. His sister, Aja, is currently on the women’s basketball team at Maryland.
Williams started his college career at Iowa Western Community College and is a native of California. He had originally committed to Iowa State when Fred Hoiberg was the coach and current St. John’s assistant Matt Abdelmassih was an assistant. After Abdelmassih left Iowa State for St. John’s Williams followed. Williams played in 27 career games with St. John’s after dealing with injuries. He averaged 3.7 ppg and 2.6 rpg in 12.4 mpg in a Red Storm uniform. Williams will graduate this spring and be immediately eligible at his new school.
“St. John’s is a great place,” said Williams. “It has been an honor to be part of a program with such history and tradition. I want to thank Coach Mullin and the coaching staff for giving me the opportunity to share some great memories and earn my degree from such a highly-regarded University.”
Ellison and Williams departing gives St. John’s a third and fourth open scholarship for next season with no members of the class of 2017 committed to the Red Storm at the moment. Another key thing to keep an eye on in terms of departing players is the status Marcus LoVett, who is rumored to be considering possible professional options. The Red Storm will welcome Justin Simon and Marvin Clark to the active roster next season after both players sat out the 2016-17 season as transfers.
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