Just last week, it was announced that St. John’s center Tariq Owens requested a release from the program to pursue other opportunities. Considering he is a graduate student, this means he could transfer anywhere without waiting a year to play for a new team.
The request comes as a bit of a surprise considering Owens logged a career high in minutes, and posted career bests of 8.4 points, 2.8 blocks, and 5.9 rebounds per game. It seemed like the 6-10 big-man from Maryland was finally finding his place in the offense.
However, with one more year of eligibility, Owens doesn’t have much more time to prove himself. His father, Renard Owens, who issued a statement on the move, has also hinted on Twitter that St. John’s doesn’t move the ball enough on offense, and is too reliant on one guy. Perhaps that frustration has prompted Owens to see if he’s a better fit elsewhere.
Owens joined the Red Storm as a transfer from Tennessee in head coach Chris Mullin’s first year after spending one season with the Volunteers. His first year in action with the Johnnies was in the 2016-2017 season.
This very well could be standard procedure to simply see what else is out there. His father made it clear St. John’s could still be the best option for him. Frankly, it’s hard to argue they aren’t.
Sure, they could involve him more in the offense, but as the season wore on, I felt he was finding his mid-range jump shot nicely. According to Zach Braziller of the New York Post, his father is scheduled to meet with Mullin in the coming weeks.
Besides, he’s playing big minutes on the world’s biggest stage for a hall-of-fame coach in one of college basketball’s best conferences. One more season in Queens with a better supporting cast could pay off big-time. Ultimately though, the decision is a personal one that is up to Owens and his family.