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.