St. John’s head coach Chris Mullin is starting to publicly question when the NCAA will make a decision on the eligibility of freshman point guard Marcus LoVett.
The talented, but well-traveled, point guard was a major grab for the new head coach when he first took the job at St. John’s this spring and the NCAA still has yet to clear LoVett to play. After St. John’s exhibition win over Sonoma State on Saturday night, Mullin told reporters that he might even consider flying to Indianapolis and the NCAA headquarters to get a response.
In a story from Chris Barca of Zags Blog, Mullin spoke out against the NCAA’s process with LoVett.
“It’s absurd and I’m 100 percent frustrated,” Mullin said on Saturday. “I’m thinking about flying to Indianapolis myself. I have some friends there with the Pacers, I may fly to Indianapolis myself to investigate.”
When asked if having LoVett would help alleviate the pressure put on the Red Storm’s other freshman point guard, Federico Mussini, Mullin also took more time to back LoVett’s case.
“Of course,” Mullin said of LoVett. “And he deserves to play. The kid has done everything.”
Mullin is right to question the NCAA’s process in making such a late decision on the eve of the season, but LoVett also has to get healthy first. LoVett has been out with a leg injury during the preseason.
It’s no secret among the basketball recruiting world that LoVett was going to be looked at by the NCAA before he was cleared to play this season. The flashy point guard, known as “Bright Lights”, transferred to play at multiple high schools in California during the first three years of high school before settling in at Morgan Park High School in Chicago for his senior season.
Besides my work for CBT, I’m the boys basketball insider at CSNChicago.com and we had to schedule a video interview for LoVett around his night school classes that he was taking in addition to a full course load at Morgan Park during the day. It was well known in Chicago that LoVett was in night school, and he put in a ton of work in the classroom during his senior year. But it’s usually not a good sign when a player is missing practice time during his senior year of high school to attend even more classes.
This will obviously come down to the NCAA’s ruling and St. John’s desperately needs LoVett to play this season. Mussini has struggled mightily during the exhibition games and LoVett would at least give the Red Storm a capable ball handler who can get some easy baskets.