PHILADELPHIA, PA - FEBRUARY 13: Josh Hart #3 of the Villanova Wildcats has his shot blocked by Yankuba Sima #35 of the St. John's Red Storm at the Wells Fargo Center on February 13, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Villanova won 73-63. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Oklahoma State lands St. John’s transfer Yankuba Sima

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Oklahoma State landed a solid big man transfer late this week with the addition of St. John’s sophomore Yankuba Sima. The transfer destination of Sima was first reported by Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports.

The 6-foot-11 Sima was a solid rim protector for the Red Storm as a freshman as he put up 7.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game in 23.4 minutes per game. As a sophomore, Sima saw his minutes decrease to around 17 per game as he was averaging 6.0 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. Sima’s shot-blocking numbers dramatically decreased to 0.5 per game as a sophomore but his free-throw shooting did improve from 38 percent to a respectable 72 percent.

Sima will likely have to sit out the first semester next season and should be available for the second half of next season for Oklahoma State.

St. John’s guard nails full-court shot

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Football was a major factor in the death of the original Big East Conference.

That said, if St. John’s ever decides to field a football team, sophomore Malik Ellison might make a good signal caller under center.

Earlier this week at Carnesecca Arena, the son of former No. 1 overall pick Pervis Ellison, connected on this full-court shot.

The 6-foot-6 Ellison started nine games for the Red Storm last season, averaging 7.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. The 20-year-old will be an experienced part of a young backcourt that includes returning starter Federico Mussini, redshirt freshman Marcus LoVett Jr. and incoming four-star guard Shamorie Ponds.

Report: St. John’s, associate head coach Rohrssen to part ways

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When St. John’s hired one its’ all-time greats in Chris Mullin to run the program last spring, one of the first hires to the staff was Barry “Slice” Rohrssen as associate head coach. With his past experiences as both an assistant and head coach, Rohrssen’s abilities as a recruiter and his connections in the New York metropolitan area made him a key hire for Mullin.

Tuesday night it was reported by SNY.tv that the two parties have decided to part ways, leaving Mullin with a vacancy to fill on his coaching staff. Rohrssen’s departure leaves Greg St. Jean and Matt Abdelmassih as the current assistants on Mullin’s staff, with the latter also being regarded as a good recruiter.

But how valuable was the Brooklyn native considered to be upon his hiring at St. John’s? His deal ran for six years, with Mullin’s deal being a five-year contract. Also to be considered in this: the move comes one day before the start of the program’s elite camp.

Rohrssen played a key role on Ben Howland’s and Jamie Dixon’s staffs at Pittsburgh, as his connections in the New York metropolitan area helped the program bring in recruits such as Brandin Knight (from nearby New Jersey), Carl Krauser, Chris Taft and Levance Fields. That success led to the Panthers becoming a power in the Big East during the early to mid-2000’s.

Rohrssen had two stints at Pittsburgh, with the second being followed by a season with John Calipari at Kentucky (2014-15).

A key for St. John’s on the recruiting trail has been establishing themselves as a player in New York City after not enjoying much success recruiting area prospects during Steve Lavin’s tenure as head coach. In the 2016 class the Red Storm managed to reel in two local players expected to have a major impact next season in junior college transfer Bashir Ahmed and freshman guard Shamorie Ponds.

Former St. John’s star Rysheed Jordan charged in shooting

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) A former NBA D-League player who starred at St. John’s University is charged in Philadelphia with attempted murder, robbery and other counts after police say he shot another man during a robbery attempt.

Police say 22-year-old Rysheed Jordan and two other suspects met three other men on May 27 in the city for a deal involving a cellphone. They say Jordan shot one man in the arm after he and the other suspects tried to rob them.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Jordan was arrested early Wednesday after police say he ran from a traffic stop and tried to throw a loaded gun with a desecrated serial number over a fence.

Jordan played two years at St. John’s and was released by the 76ers’ D-League team in January after 11 games.

Information from: WPVI-TV, http://www.6abc.com

No. 6 Villanova has big 2nd half, tops St. John’s 68-53

Villanova's Kris Jenkins (2) celebrates as St. John's head coach Chris Mullin, left, reacts during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
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NEW YORK (AP) Josh Hart had 16 points and 11 rebounds and Kris Jenkins added 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead No. 6 Villanova to 68-53 victory over St. John’s on Sunday, the Red Storm’s 12th straight loss.

The Wildcats (18-3, 8-1) held onto first place in the Big East by bouncing back from a horrible first half to pull away in the final minutes. The Wildcats shot 50 percent (14 of 28) from the field in the second half and held at least a 10-point lead over the final 13 minutes. The biggest lead was 20 points.

Mikal Bridges added 13 points for Villanova, which finished with a slight rebound advantage. The Wildcats had a nine-game winning streak snapped by No. 10 Providence in their last game.

Durand Johnson had 13 points to lead St. John’s (7-15, 0-9), which struggled with turnovers throughout the game at Madison Square Garden, committing 21, well above its season average of 14.6. Villanova had 20 turnovers.

The first half was a terrible exhibition of shooting and ball-handling.

Villanova, which came in third in the conference at 46.4 percent from the field, shot 7 for 30 (23.3 percent), including 2 for 10 from 3-point range. It was the Wildcats’ worst first half shooting this season. They shot 26.7 percent (8 of 30) in a 78-55 loss to No. 1 Oklahoma in Hawaii.

St. John’s shot 32.3 percent (10 for 31), 5 for 11 on 3-point attempts, and the Red Storm had 10 turnovers, one less than Villanova, which came into the game averaging 10.9 for 40 minutes.

OUT: Villanova center Daniel Ochefu didn’t play. The 6-foot-11 senior suffered a concussion during practice on Friday. Ochefu is averaging 9.7 points and a team-leading 8.3 rebounds. He is shooting 59.6 percent from the field, fifth in the Big East.

FAMOUS FANS: It wasn’t as impressive as the celebrities the New York Knicks draw but in attendance Sunday was tennis great John McEnroe, New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and Hall of Fame St. John’s coach Lou Carnesecca.

TIP-INS:

Villanova: The Wildcats have a six-game winning streak at Madison Square Garden that includes last season’s Big East Tournament. … This was the 112th meeting between the schools with the first game in 1909. St. John’s leads the series 60-52. … Villanova hit its first 3-pointer of the second half exactly 12 minutes earlier (15:45) than the Wildcats did in the first half.

St. John’s: Before the current streak, the longest losing streak in school history was seven games. … This was the sixth game the Red Storm played without freshman center Yankuba Sima, who broke his hand. In the previous five games St. John’s did not outrebound an opponent. The last game – a loss to Seton Hall – saw the Red Storm outrebounded 56-40. … St. John’s entered the game first in the Big East and seventh nationally with 6.2 blocks per game.

UP NEXT

Villanova hosts Creighton on Tuesday.

St. John’s at No. 7 Xavier on Tuesday.

St. John’s center Sima out 4-6 weeks with broken hand

St. John's center Yankuba Sima (35) controls the ball against Xavier's forward James Farr (2) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016 in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)
(AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)
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NEW YORK (AP) St. John’s freshman center Yankuba Sima has a fractured bone in his left hand and will be out 4 to 6 weeks.

The school said Friday that the 6-foot-11 native of Spain was examined by a hand specialist at the Hospital for Special Surgery. He injured his non-shooting hand in the first half Wednesday night against No. 10 Xavier and did not play in the second half of the 83-65 loss, the sixth straight for the Red Storm (7-9, 0-3 Big East).

Sima, who started all 16 games, is averaging 8.4 points and 6.8 rebounds and is seventh in the NCAA with 3.1 blocked shots per game.

St. John’s is at Marquette on Saturday.