As mentioned on the Rumble a week ago, St. John's has another scholarship the coaching staff plans on using this year, and the team needs a strong big man to hold down the post. The current big man rotation would be:
- returnee Dwayne Polee II - who is 6'7" and under 190 pounds
- center recruit Norvel Pelle, who is 6'9" or 6'10", and around 200 pounds, barring some recent weight gain;
- Dwight Meikle, who has been described as 6'9" in some publications, and 6'7" in others; he's been more of a wing, and has a slim frame.
So one can see why the Red Storm are grinding hard for a big man late in the recruiting game - or hoping for one next year in Ricardo Gathers (as mentioned in the earlier post today). An update on St. John's two recruits, below the fold.
God's Gift Achiuwa took an official visit to the University of Cincinnati last weekend. Afterwards, the Bearcats hosted Cheikh Mbodji, and signed the big man. That brings the Cincinnati Bearcats to the limit of their scholarship allotment, unless someone is kicked off the team by Coach Mich Cronin. This weekend, God's Gift visits Washington; and next week, St. John's. It's a two-program race.
No video of Gods Gift in action, but you can hear him speak after an Erie Community College game:
Phil Greene's teammate at ING Academy Jamari Traylor has St. John's on his list, along with Indiana, Kansas, and Mississippi State, as per Inside the Hall. Video of Traylor:
The New York Post gives an update, noting what we did last week:
Lavin is giving up his Easter weekend in the hopes of getting highly rated big man God's Gift Achiuwa to sign with St. John's....
The Red Storm also are very interested in 6-8 post man Jamari Traylor of Chicago who is enrolled at IMG Academy...
St. John's might have an edge with Traylor because guard Phil Greene, who has verbally committed to St. John's, also is at IMG. Ideally the Red Storm will sign both front court players giving them a Big East-caliber front line.
I don't know that the Johnnies want to sign both; that would mean that they would have to boot someone from the team next year to make room for Jevon Thomas and other recruits they want, like Ricardo Gathers and Kyle Anderson. Some have said that Jevon Thomas may need another year to qualify, so that could be a factor.
It's not ideal to have a class of all freshmen, even if a few have NBA potential; we will look deeper into the pitfalls of unbalanced classes in the coming weeks here on Rumble in the Garden.