St. John's 2012 recruiting class is no longer just the transfer Jamal Branch.
Per his Facebook page, Our Savior New American guard Felix Balamou has committed to St. John's for Fall of 2012. The 6'3" Guinean guard is said to be raw and athletic, can score, and has long arms. He is living on Long Island while he attends OSNA, and indicated a desire to stay close to his new home. Balamou visited the team and took in a practice in mid February.
Balamou may not step in and drop buckets like Dwight Hardy, but a versatile guard who can help with depth in the pressure defense is needed for the Red Storm program. Coach Steve Lavin had been following Balamou and his teammate, the coveted 6'9" shot-blocker Chris Obekpa. No word yet if Balamou's commitment sways Obekpa's decision on St. John's.
Felix Balamou is the only commitment in the 2012 class, where Steve Lavin and the staff have as many as 7 spots to fill, depending on whether Moe Harkless decides to declare for the NBA draft. With him, the team has the Fresh Five, Gift, and Branch, leaving six more slots in the class to possibly fill.
But the Johnnies have targets. The Red Storm are looking at forwards Obekpa, former commit Jakarr Sampson, JuCo forward Orlando Sanchez, and some other west coast forwards.
Closer to home, the Red Storm have their eyes on Thaddeus Hall (Quinn's evaluation of Hall at the PSAL semis), Florida guard Carlos Morris, and others. And don't discount St. John's as a player for a fifth-year senior who would be able to transfer to the program for a year while taking graduate classes.
St. Joseph's (Metuchen, NJ) vs Our Savior New American - Felix Balamou is #10, Chris Obekpa is #12.
St. Raymond's (NY) vs Our Savior New American - Felix Balamou is #23, Chris Obekpa is #32
Edit: as noted in the February post on Balamou, Felix is said to have academic issues and may need to reclassify.