Welcome To The City That Never Sleeps pic.twitter.com/41pG8pppeG— Mustapha Heron (@Kingheron5) May 31, 2018
Heron, a Connecticut native, left Auburn earlier this week to move closer to his family. Heron's mother has had medical complications since suffering a severe concussion.
Heron will apply for a hardship waiver in order to play immediately for the Red Storm, sources told ESPN. St. John's is optimistic, per sources, but the NCAA has mostly eliminated the immediate-eligibility hardship waiver since a rule change in 2015.
Arguably the best perimeter transfer in the past few years, Heron helped lead Auburn to an SEC championship last season, averaging 16.4 points and 5.3 rebounds. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard was a five-star recruit in the class of 2016, and St. John's recruited him out of high school. Red Storm assistant Matt Abdelmassih has maintained a good relationship with his family, and acted quickly when Heron became available this week.
Should Heron become eligible immediately, he will form one of the best backcourt tandems in the country alongside Shamorie Ponds, who announced this week he was withdrawing his name from the NBA draft and returning to St. John's. Ponds averaged 21.6 points and 4.7 assists last season.
St. John's has been one of the major players in the transfer market since Chris Mullin took over in 2015, continuing a trend Abdelmassih began under Fred Hoiberg at Iowa State. Justin Simon (Arizona) and Marvin Clark (Michigan State) played key roles last season, while Mikey Dixon (Quinnipiac) and Sedee Keita (South Carolina) will become eligible next season. Eli Wright (Mississippi State) and David Caraher (Houston Baptist) have also committed this spring and will sit out the 2018-19 campaign.