St. John’s hires new associate head coach from Kentucky staff and lands 2015 center commitment

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St. John’s continued to add pieces to its future on Monday as the school announced the addition of associate head coach Barry Rohrssen from the Kentucky staff. The Big East school also landed a commitment from Class of 2015 center Yankuba Sima.

Since the hiring of new head coach Chris Mullin, the Red Storm have made two strong local assistant coaching hires in Rohrssen, the former head coach at Manhattan and a Brooklyn native, and former Iowa State assistant Matt Abdelmassiah, a St. John’s graduate.

“Barry is a great addition to our staff,” Mullin said in the official release. “His experience in all facets of college basketball is going to be important for our program. He was a head coach and has participated in every role in the development of programs, so his guidance will be vital to our success.”

The Red Storm also landed a commitment from 6-foot-10 Class of 2015 center Yankuba Sima on Monday, as he announced his decision on Twitter. The three-star Sima also had scholarship offers from Baylor and Maryland and was one of the better available big men in the 2015 class.

St. John’s has also recently added Tennessee transfer Tariq Owens while they also continue to pursue five-star McDonald’s All-American big man Cheick Diallo.

Mullin hiring Rohrssen and Abdelmassiah puts them in tremendous position for Diallo. Both assistants were lead recruiters for Diallo at Kentucky and Iowa State, respectively, and both can now focus their efforts to bring the active defensive presence to the Big East.