Obekpa, who led the Big East in blocked shots the past three seasons, has decided to leave the Red Storm.
Picking up where former head coach Steve Lavin left off, Chris Mullin has completed the stunning recruitment of one of the nation’s best high school guards.
“I know I’m going to work but I’m also back at school,” he said. “It will take a while to find that groove, that rhythm. It’s different now with my family not here but all those things will fall into place in time.”
Chris Mullin’s job just got a whole lot easier. St. John’s rookie head coach will have his big man on the court next season, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein.
Steve Lavin says that while center Chris Obekpa’s suspension is “less than ideal,” he still believes the Red Storm has what it takes to overcome the shot blocker’s absence in the NCAA Tournament.
This season has been an emotional roller coaster for St. John’s, with the lows keeping the highs in check. Yet, somehow the Red Storm find themselves back in the tournament for the first time since 2010-11.
St. John’s has suspended junior center Chris Obekpa for two weeks for a violation of team rules. And it couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Red Storm.
Mike Krzyzewski earned his 1,000th career win Sunday, making him the first NCAA Division I men’s coach to reach the milestone, when No. 5 Duke surged past St. John’s in the second half for a 77-68 victory at Madison Square Garden.
Chris Obekpa had 16 points, eight rebounds and seven blocked shots to lead No. 17 St. John’s to a 66-49 win over Long Beach State Monday night.
St. John’s was last ranked in the AP Top 25 on March 14, 2011, holding the No. 18 spot. The program went on to make its first NCAA tournament appearance since 2002.
If you don’t know who Keith Thomas is, you will soon. He’s a rebounding machine who is heading to St. John’s.
On April 3, St. John’s announced it had granted the 6-foot-9 sophomore a release to pursue transfer options. On Friday, the school announced Obekpa will return for the 2014-15 season.
One impact player leaving early is bad enough, but two? St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin cannot be a happy man right now.
D’Angelo Harrison scored 25 and had 10 rebounds to lead St. John’s to a 72-64 win over DePaul on Sunday.
Chris Obekpa sank a free throw with 2.1 seconds left to give St. John’s a 68-67 victory over Seton Hall on Thursday night.