The world is a better place now that Rebecca Black's Friday video is once again available.
It's a fairly quiet period, where the St. John's die hards amuse themselves with small arguments and savor every shred of news, especially about the young bucks coming in. And one player who was thought to be a building block finds a new landing place.
Joe Panik begins his professional career with a pair of hits. Recruiting updates on Ricardo Gathers, Jevon Thomas, and Kyle Anderson. And a new nationally televised game confirmed for the Red Storm. All that plus some looks to the future from the Rumble and from others...
Links to all the breaking news and analytical pieces that were posted this week, below the fold.
St. John's star shortstop Joe Panik signed a contract with the San Francisco Giants in the major league. The second-team All-American (per Baseball America) been assigned to the Class A Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in the short season Northwest League and went 2 for 4 with a run scored against a squad of college baseball all-stars.
Another player who moved on from the Red Storm, Dwayne Polee II, has found a soft landing at San Diego State University. As GreyCat (a friend from the older iteration of the blog, with his own spot, Villanova by the Numbers) comments, the transfer was fairly surprising with the youth coming in; but hopefully Polee can deal with his mother's health and find what he's looking for... even though the Aztecs brought in another similarly-sized forward.
The St. John's basketball schedule for next season comes together with another date, a nationally-televised game against the University of Detroit that will also serve as a dedication for a court named in Dick Vitale's honor. The former Detroit Titans coach Vitale had a sterling record in the motor city before going to the professional ranks and later, broadcasting. As for the game itself, Detroit could be a real challenger to the young Red Storm, with talent at the guard and wing and Big East-style height. The Titans are another good high-profile practice before conference play.
Meanwhile, Ricardo Gathers and Kyle Anderson are playing well at the NBA Player's Association Top 100 camp, while Isaiah Whitehead just missed making the US National team's 16 and under roster. Jevon Thomas made quite the impression on ESPN's recruiting analyst Paul Biancardi. And Ricardo Gathers had mentioned that he might be eligible for 2011... but that's just a consideration right now.
The Red Storm recruits are arriving on campus this month, mostly - Nurideen Lindsey has summer classes to take, but the rest should pop in the next few weeks. God'sgift Achiuwa (not spelled as God's Gift, as previously thought) has arrived. Red Storm Sports has an interview and video with him, and the New York Post delves into God'sGift's seriousness as a student. D'Angelo Harrison came up to check out Ricardo Gathers playing for his former AAU team, the Franchize All-Stars. No news on Amir Garrett, who has to decide between St. John's basketball and baseball.
Before he hits campus, incoming center Norvel Pelle talks about his passions and how he was convinced to come to New York to ball for the Red Storm.
Special Advisor and Steve Lavin foil/ mentor Gene Keady gives an interview with the Purdue student paper (as you know, Keady was a great coach for the Boilermakers). He's salty and curmudgeonly and he loves his poodle Queenie.
Cracked Sidewalks used their Value Add rating system to rank the Big East teams.
Here, in the Mind the Gap series that will continue early next week, we've taken a look at returning minutes in the Big East basketball. Syracuse and DePaul return a lot of their talent, St. John's and West Virginia are making out name tag so the players can identify each other. And we look into whether returning minutes even matter in the Big East with all the incoming talent (they do, but with caveats for efficiency and usage).