St. John’s PG Marcus LoVett deemed a partial qualifier

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Just days after head coach Chris Mullin expressed his frustration with the lack of an answer regarding the status of two of his key additions, St. John’s learned that one of those freshmen won’t play in games this season.

Wednesday afternoon the school announced that point guard Marcus LoVett Jr. has been deemed to be a partial qualifier by the NCAA. That means while the Fort Wayne, Indiana product can practice with the team and receive an athletic scholarship, he’ll have to complete a year in residency before being eligible for game competition.

And in the statement it’s clear that the school is none too thrilled with the decision, as they’ve advised LoVett’s family to look into possible legal options to challenge the ruling.

“The University disagrees with the NCAA’s decision and the process it used in reviewing Marcus’ initial eligibility waiver request,” interim athletic director and general counsel Joseph Oliva, Esq. said in the release “We have engaged in several conversations with the NCAA to express our concerns that their process may have violated Marcus’ legal rights.

“Unfortunately, it appears that the NCAA elected to disregard these concerns.  We have advised Marcus and his family to consult with appropriate legal counsel about the options that may be available to challenge the NCAA ruling and the standards it applied in this process.”

Not having LoVett in the fold is a big hit for Mullin in his first season as head coach at his alma mater, and to find out the news just two days before their season opener makes it an even tougher pill to swallow. That’s been one of the big issues with some NCAA eligibility rulings: timing. Schools such as St. John’s (who still hasn’t heard from the NCAA on Kassoum Yakwe), UCF (Tacko Fall), Kansas (Cheick Diallo) and Ohio State (Mickey Mitchell) have freshmen who are waiting for a final ruling with games scheduled for this weekend.

While there is a point in the preseason preparations where the coaching staff at each of those schools prepares with the idea that those players won’t be available, it would be nice to hear something in a timely fashion.

As for what the Red Storm will do without LoVett, beginning with their season opener against Wagner, they’re in a tough spot at the point. Freshman Federico Mussini saw a lot of time at the position during the team’s two exhibition games and Elijah Holifield is another option. In both of those games the Red Storm struggled with distributing the basketball, as they committed 27 turnovers in a stunning 32-point loss to St. Thomas Aquinas and followed that up with 18 more in a 64-46 win over Sonoma State.

This was expected to be a rebuilding year for St. John’s based upon the empty cupboard Mullin found when he took over, with he and his staff doing what they could to fill the roster. Not having LoVett in the fold makes year one that much more difficult for the Red Storm.

Chris Mullin getting impatient with NCAA over Marcus LoVett ruling

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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 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.


Highly-recruited Class of 2015 point guard lists eight schools


One of the best available players in the Class of 2015 is California native and point guard Marcus LoVett Jr. The electric guard spent his senior season of high school in Chicago playing for powerhouse Morgan Park and now he’s set his sights on his recruitment.

On Saturday, LoVett took to Twitter to announce the eight schools that he was considering.

St. John’s, Memphis, Illinois, UC Irvine, DePaul, Pitt, UNLV and San Diego State make up LoVett’s current list and that’s the specific order he gives in the tweet.

Seeing St. John’s heavily in the mix is an interesting development because it means the school started recruiting LoVett again once new head coach Chris Mullin took over.

A source told that LoVett took the ACT on Saturday and is just awaiting the test score to come in. Considered a four-star prospect, according to Rivals, the 6-foot-0 LoVett is currently regarded as the No. 92 overall player in the 2015 class. With limited guard options available for power conference programs, he’ll be highly sought after these next few weeks.

Mixtape for Marcus Lovett Jr., a top 50 point guard (VIDEO)

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Yesterday, we showed you a mixtape from the most highly-regarded point guard in the Class of 2015.

Here’s another point guard that is entering his final summer of AAU ball, but Marcus Lovett Jr’s game differs quite a bit from Jalen Brunson. Brunson is a game manager that can score and create. Lovett is a flashy ball-handler that can score, which makes for a great mixtape, but the reason he’s No. 41 in the class, 27 spots below Brunson, has to do with the point guard intangibles that don’t show up in a highlight reel.