Ricardo Gathers commits to St. John's. What are the Johnnies getting?

You can't go out for a drink for a few hours anymore if you're covering St. John's. Can't blink!

This afternoon, 6'7" Louisiana forward Ricardo Gathers reportedly committed to the St. John's Red Storm for the 2012 class.

Gathers was one of the Red Storm's main targets for the 2012 class. The team badly, badly needs some beef down low, and Gathers' speed, athleticism, rebounding, and power in the post are just what the recruiting doctor ordered.

ESPN's Paul Biancardi broke the news and has some quotes:

"I picked St. John's because of the coaching staff and I liked the way Coach Lavin communicated with me throughout the process," said The Laplace (La.) Riverside power forward. "A year ago he was recruiting me and I didn't think much of it, until I saw how they played on television and how much success they were having.

"I can't wait to play in New York. Watching the movie 'He Got Game' got me really excited about playing there."

Gathers played in the Rumble in the Bronx with incoming guard D'Angelo Harrison's AAU team, the Franchize All-Stars, at Rumble in the Bronx, and came to St. John's on an official visit in June.

Earlier in the month, we had heard rumors that Gathers was a strong lean to St. John's; the rumors were true. Now, what about those rumors that Gathers could be eligible for 2011? News on that will have to wait until later. 

More on Gathers, below the fold.

What are the Johnnies getting? First, the EYBL stats from our recap of Ricardo Gathers' games with his regular AAU team, Louisiana Select, from earlier this month:

Stat FG FGA FG% 3FG 3FGA FT FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
  7.4 17.4 42.5% 0.0 0.6 3.6 7.4 3.6 8.6 12.2 2.8 18.4 1.0 2.4 2.0 1.0 28.6

Tempo neutral stats (explanations of terms), Peach Jam, with the highlights in bold and green, the lowlights in red and italics:

min%
2p
ftr
ft%
sh%
poss
apg
to%
stl%
or%
dr%
blk%
ppp
84.2%
42.5%
42.5%
48.6%
37.7%
29.4%
3.5%
12.2%
1.8%
11.3%
26.1%
4.4%
.933

The good: The Red Storm are getting an elite rebounder who led the AAU Nike EYBL "league" in rebounds. Ricardo Gathers is agile and mobile, able to dribble the ball up court after snagging the defensive board without many turnovers. As fitting his agility and speed, he gets to the line a fair amount. 

He is a dominant player on the glass and has an excellent ability to get his shot off. And that agility is something special. He is a hard worker, dedicated on the glass like many players of his size an skill level are often not.

What needs work: Ricardo Gathers is a little shorter than one would like at the power forward spot, for sure. Gathers has attempted a number of outside shots, and hasn't hit on a consistent basis. His free throw shooting (48.6% from the line in EYBL play) obviously needs some work. So does his efficiency inside. 

The takeaways: Part of this is the team he was playing on; Gathers was by far the most dangerous offensive threat. On a better team, Ricardo can concentrate on simply being a dominant rebounder that can make a difference once he sets foot on campus. 

His size is a detriment, but he uses his higher percentage of his ability than many other big men who are content to just be big or who remain raw late in high school. Gathers may be raw, but he comes to the Red Storm with a translatable skill - rebounding. Board work. Strength inside, which is badly needed with only one sizable post player on the roster in God'sGift Achiuwa, and Norvel Pelle needing to gain strength.

From ESPN on Ricardo Gathers' AAU games in Las Vegas:

He brings the noise in the paint. When Gathers is anywhere close to the rim, he's a collision waiting to happen. He prefers to catch it, rip and assault the rim.

With Gathers in the fold, the Johnnies will focus attention on guard/ forward/ playmaker Kyle Anderson, flashy scoring guard Katin Reinhardt, and others - possibly including guard Darrick Wood and forward Christopher Obekpa.

Here is a highlight video of Gathers doing work:

And also

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