New faces for St. John's basketball in 2015
Sep 09, 2015 | 8458 views | 0 0 comments | 138 138 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With the college basketball season fast approaching, the St. John’s men’s basketball staff hit the ground running on the recruiting trail since arriving this past April.

Rapidly restocking nearly an entire roster for the 2015-16 campaign, new head coach Chris Mullin set the foundation for the future of St. John’s basketball by signing nine newcomers.

The Red Storm’s 2015 recruiting is currently rated as high as 39th overall in some lists.

St. John’s recruiting class consists of five freshmen and four transfers. They include:

Durand Johnson – 6’6”


Johnson joins the program after beginning his collegiate career at Pittsburgh. Johnson lettered two years at Pitt, where he appeared in 47 games and averaged 5.8 points per contest.

Darien Williams – 6’8”


Williams averaged 16.1 points and 6.7 rebounds in 2013-14 at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs. He comes to St. John’s with three seasons of eligibility remaining after sitting out this past year at City College of San Francisco while recovering from shoulder surgery.

Ron Mvouika – 6’6”


A graduate transfer from Missouri State, Mvouika iappeared in 31 games, starting nine, as a junior in 2013-14. Mvouika finished fourth on the team in scoring (6.8), third in rebounding (3.6) and ranked second on the squad dishing out 54 assists.

Tariq Owens – 6’10”


At 210-pounds, Owens comes to St. John’s after spending last season at Tennessee. In 28 games for the Volunteers as a freshman, Owens started five contests and was first off the bench six times. In the SEC Tournament quarterfinals against Arkansas, Owens scored a season-high seven points and had three rebounds. He must sit out the 2015-16 season due to transfer requirements.

Malik Ellison – 6’6”

Shooting Guard

A shooting guard from Voorhees, N.J., Ellison received a consensus rating of No. 53 for his position and No. 11 in New Jersey from national recruiting services. He is the son of former Louisville No. 1 pick and 10-season NBA veteran, Pervis Ellison. As a senior at Life Center Academy, Ellison averaged 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists per outing.

Marcus LoVett, Jr. – 6’0”

Point Guard

LoVett, is a four-star, consensus top-25 point guard who attended Morgan Park High School in Chicago. The southpaw was a First Team All-State selection by the Chicago Tribune, and finished fourth in the statewide vote for Mr. Basketball in 2015 after averaging roughly 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists per game.

Federico Mussini – 6’1”

Point Guard

From Reggio Emilia, Italy, Mussolini is considered one of the top point guards in Europe for his class, rated as high as No. 13 according to He recently played for Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia of the Italian League’s first division. At the 2015 EuroCup, Mussini averaged 8.2 points per outing in 10 appearances.

Yankuba Sima – 6’11”


Hailing from Girona, Spain, Sima ranked as high as No. 14 at his position by major national recruiting services for the Class of 2015. This past summer, he competed at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championships, averaging 9.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks over seven games as the team advanced to the quarterfinals of the tournament.

Kassoum Yakwe – 6’7”

Power Forward

A 220-pound forward from Mali, Yakwe is a four-star prospect and consensus Top-100 recruit who played high school ball for Our Savior New American School in Centereach, N.Y. Yakwe averaged 10 points and four rebounds last season and rated as high as No. 57 by major national recruiting services.
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