St. John's recruiting update: Malik Stith signs with Red Storm once more

According to Zagsblog and Hoops on Hoops, Malik Stith has once again signed with St. John's.

From Zagsblog:

"I made [the decision] last night on my own," the 5-foot-11, 175-pound Stith said Tuesday by phone. "I slept on it just to make sure I was 100 percent that everything was right. I called [St. John's head coach] Norm Roberts today and I told him.

"I signed a fax paper today and I will sign my official Letter of Intent [Wednesday]."

"In the Big East you gotta be deep with guards. "If I get the starting spot I get it. I just want to bring a spark back."

Stith said with this recruiting class — which could still include Brooklyn Lincoln class Lance Stephenson – the Johnnies could move up in the Big East standings next year.

"With the players they have coming back and me and Omari coming in, that’s what St. John’s needed to get back over the hump and be in the race for the conference championship," he said.

More information on Stith as it comes. He chose St. John's over LaSalle. The Red Storm were badly in need of a point guard who could score a little and hopefully defend... and split time with Malik Boothe, who couldn't play 40 minutes a game. I assume this means that JUCO PG Malcolm Armstead won't be coming to play for the Red Storm.

ESPN is kind enough to write full profile/ evaluations on players they scout. After the cut, here is what they say about Stith:

 

November, 2008: Stith, an absolute bull of a player, possesses very good strength, which he uses to overpower weaker guards on his way to the rim. In addition to his strength, he has very good quickness, which makes him even tougher for defenders to keep out of the paint. Stith handles the ball very well, using his low center of gravity to control the ball with ease. He has good, but not great athleticism, but his strength and sheer determination negate many athletic and height disadvantages that Stith may encounter. He has a the team-first mentality that allows him to look to set up his teammates for scoring chances before he looks to score the ball himself, a trait that coaches love in point guards. When he does shoot the ball for the perimeter, he prefers to stroke it from the mid-range at this point, though his long-range shooting continues to get better. Stith, using his strength and quickness, excels on the defensive end by placing immense pressure on opposing ball-handlers. Stith has a very high basketball IQ and good leadership qualities; traits that permeate good point-guard play.

December 2008: ....Defensively, he has the ability to change games. Not only is he a tremendous on the ball defender because of his outstanding quickness and upper body strength, but he's equally effective off the ball where he sees the play two passes ahead of the play. Offensively, he's good with the ball, able to get into the lane, and capable of making those around him better. He needs to work on his perimeter jumper, although he is a much better shooter off the dribble in the mid-range. Nevertheless, he can struggle to manufacture offense in a half-court set as he is predictable with his dribble penetration and struggles to finish because his lack of size and inability to play above the rim.

February, 2009: Stith has good, but not elite lateral quickness with the rock in his hands, but he does an incredible job of getting almost anywhere he wants on the floor with the dribble. He also has nice-sized hands despite his small stature, which helps him to handle the ball very well. He gets to the lane and finishes at the rim with contact, due to his good amount of strength and good body control. Stith will connect from 3-point range, but he needs to become more consistent in this area. Stith also has the pull-up jumper in the mid-range area of the floor and can get the shot off of one or two dribbles. Stith plays well in the open court and has the vision and passing skills to find open teammates streaking to the rim for lay-ups. He does a great job of leading his team through example and maintains poise, a good trait for a point guard. Stith also plays a tough, intense style of basketball without changing expressions throughout games. He really understand how to run a team which will help him immensely as a point guard on the next level.

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