Chris Mullin landed his first major commitment as the head coach at St. John’s, as 7-foot-1 Miami native Zach Brown pledged to St. John’s, a source told NBCSports.com.
Brown is an interesting prospect. He was, at one point, a top ten prospect in the Class of 2017, but a series of off-the-court issues have hurt him. Once committed to UConn and considering reclassifying into the class of 2016, Brown transferred to Putnam Science Academy before getting booted from the school, reportedly for fighting with an opposing team after a game in February. He eventually decommitted from UConn and, a month or so later, was arrested for armed robbery and credit card fraud.
As a basketball player, Brown has a chance to be very, very good. He’s a terrific defensive presence because of his length and ability to maintain verticality at the rim, and he’s tremendous at keeping the ball high when he grabs a rebounds.
But between a troubled upbringing — his story is told really well in the Vice documentary embedded above — and the off-the-court issues he’s had in the last four months, it’s a risk for Mullin.
That said, when you’re trying to rebuild a program, you have to take some risks. If Brown pays off, he’ll team with transfers Justin Simon and Marvin Clark and be a guy that St. John’s can build around.