INDIANAPOLIS - D'Angelo Harrison's St. John's career is over, but he endorsed the selection of new coach Chris Mullin as a way to revive interest in the program and suggested that junior center Chris Obekpa and sophomore guard Rysheed Jordan would be well-advised to return and play for Mullin.
Harrison made his remarks before appearing in the Reese's College All-Star Game on Friday and scoring nine points for the East squad in a losing cause at Lucas Oil Stadium a day before the national semifinals.
Asked about the transition from Steve Lavin to Mullin, who is the leading scorer in St. John's history, the third-leading scorer on that list said, "I think it's good. It hurts to see Lav go, but I think the city will be behind Mullin all the way. I didn't think he was going to do it, to be honest. But he did it, and now the city is going to be tripping.''
Harrison has yet to talk with Obekpa and Jordan since the change, but he said they can learn from Hall of Famer Mullin if they stay rather than entering the NBA Draft.
"Hopefully they do, because that would be the right fit for them to have Chris Mullin, a guy like that, over you,'' Harrison said. "It would be smart for them to come back. It would teach them the attitude you have to have and the work ethic you have to have every single day.''
Harrison said Mullin's 16-year NBA career and experience as a front-office executive should help recruiting. There were reports from various scouting websites Friday of St. John's reaching out to some of the top high school talent in New York to make preliminary offers to players in the next three classes.
Newsday also confirmed that St. John's is trying to set up a meeting or phone call with McDonald's All-American Game MVP Cheick Diallo of Our Savior New American in Centereach. St. John's was among Diallo's top five before Lavin was dismissed, but Diallo's camp has made no decision on whether to keep St. John's and Mullin in the mix.