Since Jakarr Sampson, Norvel Pelle, and Amir Garrett were ruled disqualified by the NCAA many of us have monitored the minutiae of rumor and innuendo. And last night, you may have missed a couple of hours of kerfuffle on Twitter.
On the heels of a NYC Rivals article ($) stating that the recruits are unified "towards becoming eligible and re-joining the Red Storm as soon as possible", an article came out from a San Diego State Rivals site ($) stating that Norvel Pelle coming to San Diego State was "a high possibility". Pelle's sister refuted the rumor on Zagsblog, as did Norvel himself on Twitter.
A look into the conflicting reports and Jakarr Sampson's movements, below the fold.
San Diego State has long been rumored as a possible landing spot for Norvel Pelle.
He's close with former St. John's player Dwayne Polee II, who went home ostensibly to be closer to his mother as she deals with a health issue (but also for more playing time), and Pelle's former Price High School teammate Skylar Spencer is committed to the Aztecs after this year. There's been smoke around this rumor, but interesting that Pelle openly refuted the quotes attributed to him.
What's the truth? Is there another Norvel who said those things to the Rivals reporter? Did Rivals stretch the truth and place the quotes in a way that tells a favorable story? Is Norvel sleep-talking?
Only Pelle, now attending the Phelps School outside of Philadelphia, knows. (The Phelps school, FYI, "offers remediation for boys not achieving their potential or those who have reading, learning, or attention deficiencies", so it's a good landing spot for Pelle.)
It's hard to know/ predict which players will get their academics right and be eligible to come to the St. John's program in December. Players can proclaim their fealty to the program all they want. But the only truth to their dedication is whether or not they show up when they are eligible.
That's not to say any of the players are bad people for looking around. It's a fluid basketball world, with many options. And they have a right to look for the options that are best for them. St. John's fans would love to have them back, but if they choose to go to another program, we should all wish them luck; the players who are wearing the red and white have to be the ones who want to be in the program, playing for Lavin and Rico and Mike Dunlap and Tony Chiles.