Once again, the St. John's program gets their man. After Darrick Wood's official visit to the university on Thursday, it took just two days for Wood to decide to join the high-end talent at St. John's. Wood announced via Twitter.
As mentioned in the August recruiting update, Wood became a 2012 target for the Red Storm despite enjoying less recruiting acclaim than players in his class like Kyle Anderson (who is still a main recruiting target for the Johnnies), guard Katin Reinhardt (who has since committed to UNLV), Amile Jefferson, and the committed Ricardo Gathers.
The Red Storm still have one slot to fill in the recruiting class, and hope that slot is filled by game-changing playmaker Kyle Anderson.
More about Darrick Wood, and some quotes from around the Johnnies blogosphere, below the fold.
Darrick Wood, a guard from the nation's capital, has moved up to New Jersey to play with Kyle Anderson and the NJ Playaz. He'll be attending NIA Prep school, which has come under some scrutiny after four graduating players were ruled ineligible by the NCAA, including Shaquille Thomas, Ryan Rhoomes, and Kelvin Amayo.
Head coach Steve Lavin and assistant Tony Chiles saw the 6'4"/ 170 lb guard while tailing Anderson for the Playaz; once again AAU basketball provides a kid who didn't have many high-level looks a chance to play on the top levels of the collegiate game. His summer had analysts like Dave Telep likening his game to Connecticut's Jeremy Lamb. It should be noted that Lamb was also a fringe top-100 recruit, thought to be too skinny to be a difference-maker.
Which is not to predict immediate stardom for Darrick Wood, but to say that scoring skills and craftiness on the court are always useful.
Wood may be the perfect type of recruit for the 2012 class. He's talented enough to make plays if he has to be on the court, but not so highly touted that there is an expectation of immediate playing time. With the lanky guards and wings the Red Storm already have in the fold, and Kyle Anderson a strong possibility, Wood may be the 13th man on the bench for a year or two while he fills out his frame as best he can and develops his skill set.
From around the web:
Big East Coast Bias: Darrick Wood Commits to St. John's (thanks to BECB for posting)
The Recruit Scoop: Darrick Wood Commits to St. John's
A native of Washington DC, Wood may be one of the premier underrated players in his class coming from NIA Prep. Playing the wing and two spot is his speciality as he can score in a variety of ways. The 2012 future Johnny can shoot it from deep, inside and has a nice mid-range. His athleticism makes him a treat to watch on the court as he finishes with stellar moves.
A source close to the program said it isn’t worried about Wood qualifying despite attending NIA Prep, which recently had six athletes – four of them basketball players – fail to qualify academically when the NCAA ruled its courses were not proper college preparatory classes. The source also said Wood was recruited independently of Anderson; that it was in no way a package deal.
Zagsblog: Darrick Wood to St. John's
Playaz director Jimmy Salmon said Wood’s summer helped put him over the top. He put up 18 of his 25 points in the second half, including five 3-pointers, of the championship game of the Desert Duel against Mac Irvin Fire.
Sweet Sweet Lavin: Darrick Wood Joins 2012 Class