Chris Mullin carries a heavy burden with him this coming year.
Hired as the head coach for the St. John's Red Storm in late March, the former Redmen superstar and three-time Big East Player of the Year was given the task of heading a Red Storm program that has not prospered in magnificent fashion since Mullin himself was an active member of the roster.
It didn't get much easier for Mullin after being appointed as the 20th head coach in Redmen/Red Storm history. It was already a given that St. John's would be without the likes of D'Angelo Harrison, Phil Greene IV, Jamal Branch and Sir'Dominic Pointer. Left in question were the statuses of rising junior Rysheed Jordan and rising senior Chris Obekpa. Both were very impactful players for the Red Storm during their respective tenures in Jamaica, Queens, and to avoid as many bumps as possible to start his own tenure off, he was afford the unenviable task of procuring Jordan and Obekpa.
Unfortunately for Mullin and his new staff, Jordan and Obekpa flew from the coop. Jordan left with aspirations of the D-League, while Obekpa still intends to transfer. With an astounding six players departing from the program, Mullin's job as coach will no doubt be difficult going forward.
To ease the pain , St. John's needed to nab some high-level recruits. And they hit the ground running as they were in on a bevy of super-talented prospects. Via 247Sports, the Johnnies were able to land the fourth-best recruiting class in the Big East Conference and 39th across the nation.
And the biggest fish of all is Marcus LoVett.
LoVett signed with the program on May 20, 2015 as the fourth player of five in their 2015 class to either make a commitment or sign their LOI. He joined the likes of Yankuba Sima, Malik Ellison, and Darien Williams who were later joined by Federico Mussini, a 6-foot tall point guard from the Province of Reggio Emilia in Italy. Like Mussini, LoVett checks in at 6-foot-0, hailing from the basketball-rich city of Chicago, Illinois.
Nationally, many have sung his praises. He ranks 90th from a national perspective and 14th-best at his position via 247Sports. On Scout.com, he checks in at 76th across the board, 12th-best at his position, and only Villanova's Jalen Brunson is ranked higher amongst Illinois point guards. ESPN has him 23rd nationally and eighth-best in the state. It's safe to say that the hype is there for Marcus LoVett.
Future150's scouting report notes that LoVett's strengths are his change of pace, vision in transition, speed, playmaking abilities and ball-handling but needs to bulk up his upper body strength and ability to finish in contact. Our Mike Hopkins projects LoVett to be a day one starter for the Red Storm, so he'll have his work cut out for him and have the opportunities to get reps and improve upon his weaknesses.
Of course, a major issue that Hopkins also notes is that LoVett has some academic issues that need to be sorted out by the NCAA Clearinghouse, who has yet to clear the Morgan Park High School alum. Should that eyesore lessen, St. Johhn's will be getting a very talented player this coming fall.