New St. John’s head coach Chris Mullin will have a roster filled with newcomers in 2015-16, and on Friday he lost a returnee who was expected to be a major factor in the rotation.
Rysheed Jordan, who started 21 games and averaged 14.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game as a sophomore, has played his last game in a St. John’s uniform. The program announced Friday that Jordan will instead pursue professional opportunities, thus ending a couple weeks of uncertainty regarding his status for next season.
“Playing professional basketball has always been a goal of mine. I believe I am ready to take the next step in my basketball career and plan to work hard to achieve my dream of playing in the NBA,” Jordan said in the release. “I am thankful for the opportunities and support St. John’s University has provided to me. This decision was made with my family’s best interests in mind.”
A couple weeks ago it was reported by the New York Daily News that academic issues were expected to sideline Jordan for the fall semester, if not longer. With his departure, the Red Storm lose a piece who would have provided experience and depth at the point guard position.
St. John’s adds freshman Marcus LoVett Jr. to the program, and players such as fellow incoming freshman Malik Ellison and rising senior Felix Balamou could also find themselves in a position where they’re asked to serve as a primary ball-handler.
Jordan’s departure means that the Red Storm have two available scholarships for next season, and the staff is currently recruiting Italian guard Federico Mussini. His recruitment becomes even more important for the Red Storm with Jordan moving on.
After averaging 14.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game as a sophomore, Rysheed Jordan was expected to be an integral figure for St. John’s in 2015-16 under new head coach Chris Mullin. However, according to a report that may not be the case.
According to the New York Daily News, Jordan is expected to be declared academically ineligible for the fall semester and “it’s possible he may not play again” at St. John’s. For a team that lost a lot from last year’s NCAA tournament team, including guards Phil Greene IV and D’Angelo Harrison, not having Jordan would pose a huge issue for Mullin and his staff as they look to get off to a successful start.
A source close to the St. John’s program said a departure is not a done deal. Jordan has been told what he must do in school during the summer session and fall semester in order to be able to play from mid-December through March. He is expected to meet with new coach Chris Mullin in the coming week, and a decision could be made then on whether he will continue at St. John’s.
However, a source close to Jordan said that he already has told those close to him in Philadelphia that his time with the Johnnies is through.
The Red Storm aren’t the deepest team at the point guard position, with Jordan and recent signee Marcus LoVett Jr. being the options. St. John’s still has a scholarship available for the 2015-16 season, and given this news looking for a late signee is likely.
While Jordan has displayed the talent that made him one of the top players in the Class of 2013, there have also been bumps in the road during his two seasons at St. John’s. This latest news, especially if he’s played his last game at the school, would be an unfortunate conclusion to his time with the program.
Chris Mullin’s had a string of good news since he landed the head coaching job at St. John’s earlier this month.
If landing top recruiters Mat Abdelmassih and Barry ‘Slice’ Rohrssen wasn’t enough, Mullin also got word that center Chris Obekpa would be returning to school and that Darien Williams and Yankuba Sima would be joining the program.
And late on Tuesday night, he got word that star guard Rysheed Jordan will be returning to Queens for his junior season.
Jordan averaged 14.1 points, 3.7 boards and 3.1 assists this past season, but there was some speculation that he would be entering his name into the NBA Draft. Returning is the right move for Jordan, as he likely would have gone undrafted has he left school this season.