In news that has to have Louisiana State fans salivating, New Orleans forward Ricardo Gathers is said to have decommitted form St. John's, per a tweet from New Orleans station WGNO. According to the report, Gathers will sign in the spring session.
Gathers is the 30th ranked recruit in ESPN's 2012 class, and was as as highly regarded by other recruiting sites. The 6'7, 240 pound forward is a load in the paint, and would help shore up the Red Storm's size deficiency inside. We looked at his numbers and outside of some issues shooting free throws, he looks like a player ready to handle rebounding duties on the college level.
This is a blow to the 2012 recruiting class, which now only has Darrick Wood... and a whole lot of room for impact players. This late in the game, it will be difficult to find Top-100 players who aren't already verbally committed to other schools.
Updates, below the fold.
Update, from Zagsblog:
"I have recently realized that because the decision I make in choosing a university is one that will greatly impact my future, I must be 100 percent sure of the choice I make. I plan to devote time to analyzing all prospective scenarios and seriously considering how my decision will affect not only my basketball dreams and my education, but also considering how my decision will affect my family and those around me. I will be including St. John’s in my options and have by no means ruled that choice out. I would like to spend my last year of high school focused on team goals and then making a decision about college in the spring."
And from Dave Telep on ESPN Insider ($), Gathers' brother Greg speaks on the decommitment:
"Back in August, that was before the Big East situation, Lavin’s health and then the ineligible players ... you want to be 100 percent sure with leaving Louisiana and going to New York."
And from Scout.com:
"He really doesn't have a list of schools that he's now targeting," [Rico Gathers' coach at Riverside Academy, Tim Byrd] added. "He wants to let time past before he signs. The bottom line is he is opening back up, but at the same time he doesn't want things to get into a frenzy."..."I think LSU has always been involved, since day one," [Byrd] said. "They are here locally and close. Again his release speaks for his self. His release talks about decommiting from St. Johns, but it's not out of the possibility that he signs with them."
St. John's remains at the top of Gathers' list; the Red Storm need Gathers to join in 2012. Ricardo Gathers is an impact player.