Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose.
Tonight, St. John's lost out on top recruit Kyle Anderson, who chose the UCLA Bruins as his college home for 1, 2, or however many years he spends in college.
Anderson, the St. Anthony's (NJ) star announced via Twitter, finally confirming an earlier report that he committed, and reports as early as yesterday that stated that UCLA was the leader for his playmaking, ball handling, and slow-motion services.
The 6'9" forward from New Jersey was a coveted recruit for St. John's, Seton Hall, and the Bruins, and we've been tracking him - as all of the St. John's blogs have - for a long while. He would have been a nice facilitator for a class of recruits that include a number of scorers, finishers, and dogged defenders, but no "proven" facilitator.
A well-played recruiting chase by St. John's and Seton Hall, who hung in until the end. No need for sour grapes, despite the heated nature of interactions between the fans online over Kyle's recruitment; the Seton Hall folks also reminded their readers to be classy to Kyle. We will do the same. More on what's next, below the fold.
It will be nice for many of us to not wait with bated breath for the next hint in this maze of a recruiting decision, well played by the Anderson family for maximum exposure. In the end, the California sunshine and Ben Howland's coaching won him over.
At UCLA, he will join what may be a stacked recruiting class, especially if top guard Shabazz Muhammad commits as was rumored at the Boost Mobile game. UNC's Larry Drew will be on the roster, as will Dominic Artis, so either the Bruins will have a lot of passing or a bunch of guys who want to lead and none who want to follow!
Good luck to Kyle.
Next for the Red Storm?
St. John's will be fine. The squad already has the promising Darrick Wood committed, along with the beastly forward Ricardo Gathers. As shown with Dwight Hardy at the point guard, the team doesn't necessarily need a true distributing point guard to be successful. The offensive system is focused on sharing the ball, not a singular virtuoso director.
Not saying that a true lead guard, or a guard who can lead from the point forward spot, wouldn't have been exciting.
But the Red Storm have had their eyes on players like lanky Philly forward Amile Jefferson (known to also have a high basketball IQ) and shot blocker Christopher Obekpa. Florida's Joell James had been mentioned in the past as well.
The Red Storm have at least one spot left in the 2012 recruiting class, depending on the actions of the players ruled ineligible by the NCAA. If one player doesn't return, that leaves another slot open for a point guard or better yet, a player who can defend in the deep post with Ricardo Gathers.