This weekend's verbal commitment of Louisiana power forward Ricardo Gathers earns the Red Storm even more recruiting buzz. It's a big get for the Johnnies, who get a presence in/ near the middle of the paint to bang and bother opposing bigs, and a strong post option.
And to think that in June at the NBPA Top 100 camp, Gathers had a long list of schools, mentioned wanting to go west, and would take all of his visits (including going to Oregon in August). Ricardo Gathers played his recruitment fairly close, never stating that he preferred a school, and made his choice when he was ready. Kudos.
We covered what kind of hard working post player the Red Storm will see in Gathers; now a look at what others are saying about the commitment.
"It's like no other place," Gathers said. "It's a terrific city. I like the culture, the people, the Garden."....
Gathers and his Louisiana Elite AAU coach Scooter Owen gave The Post a look at what trump cards St. John's is using on the recruiting trail. Lavin boasts the NBA experience on his staff in assistants Rico Hines, Gene Keady and Mike Dunlap. He also accentuates the allure of New York City and of playing in the Garden.
"Ricardo is not outspoken and he's not shy," Owens said. "He's very open and smart. The staff did a great job of building the relationship and stressing their NBA record and all that New York has to offer. It's been a while since New Orleans sent a player to the Big East, and Ricardo is the perfect Big East player. He's a cross between Karl Malone and Charles Barkley."
ESPN/ Dave Telep ($ req'd): Ricardo Gathers is a big get for St. John's
Ricardo Gathers (LaPlace, La./Riverside) said a few months back that St. John's was his leader and over the weekend took it a step further and committed. He is this year's leading rebounder from the Nike EYBL and he did it on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. He's the rock in the paint that Lavin can now count on to bring it and create a presence in the lane.
Gathers is an important missing piece to the group, which is typified by athleticism and finesse oriented players. He will bringing a grind it out toughness, consistent scoring near the cup, and the ability to rebound better than his 6′-7″ height indicates.
New Orleans Times-Picayune: Riverside forward Ricardo Gathers commits to St. John's basketball
Gathers averaged 20.7 points, 16.2 rebounds, 3.9 blocked shots, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals during a 33-6 season that ended with Riverside winning a second consecutive Class 2A state championship.
Gathers was also named the Louisiana Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year, the Class 2A Player of the Year and The Times-Picayune's All-Metro Small Schools Player of the Year.
And now, the lamentation of others section, where Louisiana State is pissed about losing their best in-state player and sharpening he pitchforks for LSU coach Trent Johnson. Let us peek in on the bitterness of others.
New Orleans Times-Picayune: LSU basketball: Riverside's Ricardo gathers commits to St. John's
The commitment was a blow to LSU, which was recruiting Gathers heavily along with Syracuse, Texas and Arizona.
Tiger Droppings' Recruiting thread on Gathers' commitment (LSU)
Texas 24/7's thread on Gathers' recruitment:
Former Horn target Ricardo Gathers committed to St. John’s today. Springman and Barnes had been on him for a long time, maybe even considered the leader for a stretch, but it appears as though Texas eased up on him recently. The staff probably feels pretty good about other post players because Gathers certainly did not lower his level of play this summer.
SBNation Bay Area: Ricardo Gathers Commits To St. John's Basketball, Not Returning To Bay Area
Ah, Cal Golden Bear bitterness -
The offer to play in New York City was too tempting for Gathers to resist, and apparently he was influenced by Spike Lee, Denzel Washington and Ray Allen in his decision.
Good stuff, huh? Makes you think that every major college basketball program needs to have a Hollywood program. But doesn't Cal have Coach Carter to rely on? Teenagers can be fun to deal with.
The bright lights and big media of New York City have beckoned many from around the country, and around the world, to make a name for themselves. Can't knock it.
Keep reading the St. John's recruiting section and stay up to date with the Johnnies' efforts to put top-level talent on the floor of Madison Square Garden and Carnesecca Arena.