St. John's updates 4-28: congrats to Kennedy; Mason in pre-draft workouts; updates on assistant coaches; updates and videos on recruits Dwayne Polee, Remi Barry, and Kadeem Jack.
Guard/ forward DJ Kennedy earned a spot on the (New York City) Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association's All-Met First Team. Congrats to DJ on the recognition; he was one of the best and most consistent players in the area from game to game.
Graduating senior Anthony Mason Jr. gets some featured words on Hoopsworld, along with some other prospects who are working out at IMG Academy. From Hoopsworld:
He is clearly an off-the-radar prospect, but after spending a day with him in the gym there is a lot he brings to the table and he could sneak up on teams especially in the second round.
To sum up Mason in one word – bouncy. Mason is a high energy player with lots of athletic ability. He goes hard at the basket and was consistently hammering home dunks at every opportunity and has a decent mid-range game.
Mason could be one of those players who gets a few workouts and starts to generate some buzz, mainly because he is every bit of 6'7 and you can see that he has a ton of promise.
Also of note: TyShwan Edmondson has signed with Austin Peay University from Midland Junior College in Texas (not Georgetown College of the NAIA as we originally thought). Midland was the #1 school in JUCO play for a period of time this year. His new coach cites his versatility and Big East experience as exciting aspects of Edmondson's game. Good luck to Ty.
Former St. John's assistant coach Glenn Braica has gone back to St. Francis College in Brooklyn to be the head coach. he was the coach of the St. Francis Terriers during recent successful seasons, running the offense. He returns to Brooklyn Heights with more experience in program building and recruiting.
Since the hire of Tony Chiles, St. John's has also introduced assistant coach Rico Hines. Hines is a former player at UCLA, and has gained some renown as a strength/ skills training coach for the Golden State Warriors and for other NBA players in the offseason. See a video of a drill he used with the Warrior guards, including Stephen Curry.
Derrick Wrobel has been hired in an administrative capacity. Wrobel worked at the University of California. Under Mike Montgomery at Berkeley, he served as the Director of External Relations, managing staff, organizing summer camps, and serving as the liaison to basketball alumni.
Mo Hicks of Rice High School and the NY Gauchos AAU program seems like a good bet to come on board, but nothing has been signed yet - just articles and innuendo. Hicks says that Steve Lavin has discussed a position on the Red Storm staff.
But as a man who has coached recruits both at Rice and with the Gauchos, he cannot bring in the any players he has had a coaching connection within two years before his hiring, nor can he hire current players he has coached for 2 years afterward IF he is hired in a non-coaching position, such as Director of Basketball Operations. At this point, if Hicks is hired as an assistant coach, Lavin won't be able to bring in an experienced coach to be his x's and o's guy.
Meanwhile, Mike Dunlap - who Lavin hoped would be his x's and o's guy - has been mentioned for some head coaching jobs in passing, and may be reluctant to move from the west coast/ mountain region. Or may be looking for more money. or may feel that this is his time for a head coaching job. For whatever reason, his name is still associated with St. John's, but seems no closer to signing than when his name came up.
Recruiting (read below the fold)
The Red Storm has been busy since Ron Roberts has been let out of his Letter of Intent (LOI). Aside: he cannot sign with another Big East team since he signed the LOI, due to conference regulations.
St. John's has an offer out on Los Angeles forward Dwayne Polee. Polee was originally was signed to USC early in high school; after Tim Floyd left, he's been recruited to schools like UNLV, Georgia, and by Tim Floyd (now at UTEP). As one of the last unsigned recruits out there, and one blessed with extreme athleticism, Polee has become a wanted man. Instead of announcing his college choice last Saturday, he is waiting to visit the University of Oregon this Friday and the Ducks' new coach, Dana Altman. See his Johnny Jungle page.
Video (there's a lot. And the music's pretty good too.)
Polee is an exciting athlete. If he can improve with training, he has a chance to star at the 3/4, the wing-forward and power forward hybrid position.
Another prospect that St. John's may be interested in is Remi Barry (sometimes written as Remy Barry), who seems to profile more as a shooter than a slasher. Barry was not allowed to play last year in California due to transfer rules. The contact who helped Barry move from Florida to California has connection to St. Mary's College in Moraga, and California determined that contact shady.
Meanwhile, Kadeem Jack - of Rice High School - is back on St. John's radar (or St. John's is back on his), and he will attend South Kent for prep school. Again, note that the hiring of Mo Hicks will have some possible ramifications for signing Jack.