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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Saturday / May 21.
  • Rawle Alkins Says St. John’s is Working Hard to Land Him

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    2015 adidas Gauntlet IndianapolisBy MATT JESSEN-HOWARD

    INDIANAPOLISRawle Alkins, the 2015 shooting guard from Christ the King and the NY Rens, is off to a hot start on the Adidas Gauntlet circuit, averaging 24.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 2.0 assists according to adidasuprising.com. His motivation for this success is twofold.

    “Winning as a team is important,” he told SNY.tv. “Obviously, we would like to win a championship, but you know personal goals for everyone are to get schools to look at them and get scholarships.”

    Scholarships have come in bunches for the consensus four-star prospect. Alkins holds offers from Cincinnati, Florida, Florida State, Indiana, Kansas, Louisville, Maryland, Miami (FL), Minnesota, N.C. State, Rutgers, Seton Hall, South Florida, St. John’s, and Villanova. Coaches from Cincinnati, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami, Minnesota, Rutgers, and St. John’s attended his Saturday morning game against Team Loaded Virginia.

    Perhaps his most talked about offer in the last week has been the offer that St. John’s head coach Chris Mullin extended. Mullin, a member of the Naismith Hall of Fame, has generated a lot of buzz throughout the East Coast. His staff is full of coaches with New York City connections, including Barry “Slice” Rohrssen, who developed a close relationship with Alkins during his time as a Kentucky assistant.

    “Mullin offered me as soon as he got the job,” Alkins said. “They said that they wanted to keep all of the local guys home. They came to my school a few days ago, three deep. Mullin, Slice, and Matt [Abdelmassih] were all there. They told me how they would love me at St. John’s, and I would be the guy there. I could help bring their program back. It’s interesting because St. John’s wasn’t really recruiting me before Mullin got the job.”

    Since Rohrssen left to take a similar position at St. John’s, Alkins reports that Kentucky has shown dwindling interest. More concerning for him is that his performance Saturday morning in front of John Calipari, whom Alkins has never spoken with, didn’t fully showcase his abilities. Alkins managed 8 points on 2-for-12 shooting.

    “Calipari, I heard about him my freshman year, and I guess he talked about me a lot, but the one who was recruiting me was Coach Slice,” Alkins said. “Now that Slice is at St. John’s, I haven’t heard from them as much, but it was good to see Calipari at the game. I struggled though, I really did. I played terrible so I’m not sure I played well enough for them to offer me. Hopefully they will be at a later game.”

    Meantime, Alkins’ AAU teammate Mustapha Heron, a Pittsburgh decommit, has also drawn a slew of coaches to watch him.

    Heron has a strong relationship with St. John’s Rohrssen, who initially recruited him to Pitt.

    Heron and Alkins are friends and some schools have expressed an interest in recruiting them as a package, but Rens coach Andy Borman told SNY.tv each would have to make the best decision for himself.

    “It’s completely up to the kids,” Borman said. “They really like each other and really get along but they’re going to do what’s best for them.”

    Photo: Kelly Kline

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.