Auburn Star Mustapha Heron Announces He Will Transfer to St. John's

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2018

Auburn's Mustapha Heron (5) shoots over Alabama's Collin Sexton (2) during the first half in an NCAA college basketball quarterfinals game at the Southeastern Conference tournament Friday, March 9, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

Mustapha Heron may not be headed to the NBA, but he is not returning to the Auburn Tigers either. On Thursday, Heron announced he will transfer to St. John's:

ESPN's Jeff Goodman initially reported the news.

After withdrawing from the NBA draft earlier this week, Heron announced he would be transferring in order to be closer to his ill mother. CBS Sports' Gary Parrish reported Tuesday that St. John's and Connecticut were the favorites to land the 6'5", 218-pound guard.

Heron will now try to obtain a hardship waiver that will allow him to play right away. When asked about the possibility of not being able to play immediately, he made it clear, via Zach Braziller of the New York Post, that he is fully committed to his new team: "I’m still all the way in. The coaching staff knows that. I’m not in any rush to be a professional. Right now, the priority is finishing school and being there for my mom."

According to 247Sports, Heron was a 5-star recruit coming out of high school and the No. 22 overall prospect in the class of 2016. Through his first two seasons at Auburn, he lived up to the hype.

Heron averaged 16.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game as a sophomore. He shot 43.9 percent from the floor, 33.1 percent from beyond the arc and 80.3 percent from the line. He was the Tigers' leading scorer in 2017-18 as he helped the program win its first SEC regular-season title since 1998-99 and reach the NCAA tournament for the first time in 15 years. 

Now, he will join a Red Storm squad that is looking to take the next step in the rebuilding process.

Chris Mullin has a 38-60 record in three seasons as coach at the school. The bright side, though, is the fact that his team has improved with each passing season, finishing 16-17 last season. The next steps in the rebuilding process are to top .500 and return to the NCAA tournament, feats the program last accomplished in 2014-15 under Steve Lavin.

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