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St. John’s guard Felix Balamou reinstated by NCAA

Xavier Harris, Felix Balamou

Xavier Harris, Felix Balamou


St. John’s head coach Chris Mullin will have one more guard to call upon Thursday night when the Red Storm host Rutgers as part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games, as the NCAA has reinstated senior guard Felix Balamou.

The 6-foot-4 Balamou was declared ineligible by the NCAA six days ago for a rules violation, resulting in his missing games against Wagner and UMBC as a result. No specifics regarding the violation were given, and it simply added to the frustration being felt by the program in its recent dealing with the NCAA.

Freshman point guard Marcus LoVett Jr. was declared to be a partial qualifier just before the start of the season, and classmate Kassoum Yakwe continues to wait for a ruling regarding his status.

The return of Balamou, who averaged 1.6 points in just over nine minutes of action per game, gives St. John’s another option on the perimeter moving forward. Freshmen Federico Mussini and Malik Ellison have been the starters for the Red Storm, with Mussini leading the team in both scoring (18.0 ppg) and assists (4.0 apg). Wings Durand Johnson and Ron Mvuoika are second and third on the team in scoring respectively.