St. John’s guard Rysheed Jordan is expected to be ruled academically ineligible to play in the fall semester of the 2015-16 season and it’s possible he may not play again for the Red Storm, two sources told the Daily News.
The 6-4 guard averaged 14.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 2014-15, his sophomore year. If he were to return, he would be the program’s most established and top player. However, even as he was emerging from an inconsistent start to the season — one during which he lost his starting job before regaining it — Jordan was apparently not keeping his academics in order.
It’s possible that the Philadelphia product was planning a jump to the pros; players who do not intend to return to school often let their classroom work slide as they turn their full attention to basketball. Jordan, however, did not end the season as a likely 2015 NBA draft pick. That doesn’t mean he has no shot to make an NBA roster this coming season if he leaves school; JaKarr Sampson left St. John’s after the 2013-14 season, went undrafted and earned a spot on the Philadelphia 76ers.
A source close to the St. John’s program said a departure is not a done deal. Jordan has been told what he must do in school during the summer session and fall semester in order to be able to play from mid-December through March. He is expected to meet with new coach Chris Mullin in the coming week, and a decision could be made then on whether he will continue at St. John’s.
However, a source close to Jordan said that he already has told those close to him in Philadelphia that his time with the Johnnies is through.
Jordan chose St. John’s after former coach Steve Lavin prevailed over UCLA and Temple in a hotly contested recruiting battle. Things have not always gone smoothly, although he has played well. This past season he went on a leave of absence — which lasted only one game — because of a family matter and he was disciplined after using homophobic language in a Twitter post.
After the school opted to replace Lavin following the Johnnies’ first NCAA Tournament appearance in four years, it was questionable as to whether Jordan would return. In mid- and late April, Mullin reported that Jordan was working out with the team and the coach sounded excited to work with him. “As far as talent, he’s really gifted,” Mullin said. “I think I can really help him develop.”
At that time, the source close to St. John’s said Jordan had an eye on repairing his academic standing. But as of now, it looks like a focused effort will be required for him to be eligible for any part of the season.
The Red Storm this past week landed highly sought point guard Marcus LoVett out of Chicago’s Morgan Park High. According to St. John’s Friday announcement that he’d signed a national letter of intent, LoVett averaged “approximately 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists” this season. With Jordan academically ineligible for the fall, LoVett may be the starter when the season opens.
A source close to LoVett said “he liked the idea he might start right away.”
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