The St. John's Red Storm hired one of their alumni and former players, Chris Mullin, to be their new head men's basketball coach on March 30.
Chris Mullin will be the new head men's basketball coach of the St. John's Red Storm.
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CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein first reported the news on March 30. The university will schedule a press conference on Wednesday, April 1, to make Mullin's hiring official. He will take over for Steve Lavin, whom the school fired on March 27.
The New York Daily News' Roger Rubin's two sources also confirmed St. John's has offered the position to Mullin, who had yet to accept the offer at the time of Rubin's report on March 30. However, Rubin says Mullin "very well could."
Rubin's third source told him Mullin and his wife have reservations about accepting the offer since they have two high school kids in California. Mullin is currently working as an advisor for the NBA's Sacramento Kings.
Nonetheless, the source went on to say Mullin "is pretty confident that this is something he can do very well. I could easily see him back at St. John's."
Rubin reached out to Mullin on March 27 to ask him if he's interested in the St. John's coaching job. He said, "Not right now."
However, Mullin's reply contradicts what the two New York Daily News sources say: that Mullin has been telling members of the St. John's basketball community that he is interested. Rubin also writes "conversations between Mullin and the administration...heated up the last two days."
Rubin's two sources add Mullin has been in touch with current college basketball coaches who also worked in the NBA to get a feel of the college game. The New York Daily News report says Mullin is already in the process of assembling an experienced coaching staff that "runs deep with New York roots."
Because of this, Rubin stresses Mullin could already recruit as soon as he's officially named the Red Storm's head men's basketball coach.
ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas is confident Mullin will do well at St. John's.
"The biggest challenge for anybody is recruiting," Bilas said (via The New York Post's Zach Braziller). "But I think once he puts a staff together, I know he'll do really well. He rates really well with people. He has instant credibility."
Despite Mullin not having any coaching experience, Rothstein's sources tell him the former St. John's star will employ a blueprint similar to Fred Hoiberg's when he took over as Iowa State Cyclones head men's basketball coach five years ago.
According to USA TODAY's Nicole Auerbach, "The decision comes 30 years to the day St. John's, led by Mullin, reached the Final Four."
In a March 27 press release on St. John's official athletics website, director of athletics Chris Monasch thanked Lavin for his contributions:
"Coach Lavin returned high expectations to our men's basketball program and represented St. John's in a positive way. We appreciate his commitment to our program and to our student-athletes over the past five years.
"Our student-athletes represented the university well, especially our five-member senior class who excelled on the court, inside the classroom and within the community."
Rubin's other source told him on Monday that sophomore guard Rysheed Jordan and junior center Chris Obekpa are seriously considering coming back to the St. John's basketball team with the news of Mullin's hire. The two had previously expressed their intent of leaving the program after Lavin left.
The Red Storm finished 21-12 (.636) in Lavn's last season at St. John's. The San Diego State Aztecs ousted them in the NCAA Tournament's round of 64. St. John's is losing four seniors while highly-sought shooting guard Brandon Sampson of Mission Prep Academy in Baton Rouge, La. is now looking at other options other than the Red Storm after Lavin's disimssal, per ESPN New York's Jeff Goodman.
Mullin, 51, is St. John's all-time leading scorer with 2,440 points and a three-time Big East Player of the Year award winner. He suited up for the Golden State Warriors and Indiana Pacers in the NBA, eventually winning a gold medal in the Olympics as a member of the 1992 Dream Team and earning a place in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011, per Braziller.
Mullin officially became a member of the St. John's Hall of Fame on March 24, per The New York Post.
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