Healthy RJ Luis finally could be set to make St. John’s debut

Healthy RJ Luis  finally could be set to make St. John’s debut

CHARLESTON, S.C. — RJ Luis, the talented transfer wing from UMass who has yet to appear in a game this season, could make his St. John’s debut Sunday.

The 6-foot-7 Luis suffered a fractured left hand in an Oct. 1 practice and recently returned to practice.

On Friday, coach Rick Pitino said he was waiting for clearance from doctors for Luis to return, but that hurdle has been cleared.

He went through an individual skill session early Saturday and was set to practice with the team later in the day.

“I’d like to get him a little playing time just to get his feet wet,” Pitino said as St. John’s prepared to face Utah in the Charleston Classic third-place game Sunday at TD Arena.

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Initially, the plan was for Luis to return in next Saturday’s home game against Holy Cross. Luis is a gifted offensive player, a member of the All-Atlantic 10 freshman team last year after averaging 11.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game.

He could provide some much-needed shot creation for the Johnnies.

RJ Luis
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Po

“What RJ brings to the table is like Daniss [Jenkins], he can create offense off the bounce,” Pitino said. “There’s not a lot of guys on this team that can create off the bounce.”

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Pitino is considering redshirting sophomore Sadiku Ibine Ayo, who transferred to St. John’s after spending last season at Iona University with Pitino.

He hasn’t appeared in either game of the Charleston Classic.

Sophomore guard Cruz Davis also has yet to appear in a game during the tournament.

Pitino attributed that to Davis, another Iona transfer, being behind other guards after missing time with a broken hand.

He logged a combined 15 minutes in the first two games against Stony Brook and Michigan.

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