St. John's basketball updated scholarship chart 7-27

St. John's hopes an influx of depth and talent leads to happier scenes on the Madison Square Garden bench.

With the signing of forward Christian Jones, Steve Lavin has finalized the 2012 recruiting class, having brought in eight total players (including last year's midseason transfer Jamal Branch) to shore up a highly-rated core from last year.

The signing of the class - already on campus for the summer session (with the exception of Amir Garrett, currently pitching in Arizona) - is a great recruiting recovery for the St. John's program, who had lost some committed players while Steve Lavin was recuperating from prostate cancer surgery.

The signing period may have started slowly. But recruiting is an art. And Coach Lavin has painted a compelling, potential-hued picture for St. John's basketball by bringing in a couple of top-100 players, two skilled transfers, a pair of talented junior college athletes, and a pair of other talented freshmen.

The new recruits for St. John's have already been on campus and in the gym getting in shape for a long season. Last season, a number of players were shoring up their course work in off-campus summer school. And those summer school grades were not accepted by the NCAA, leaving the Johnnies shorthanded from the first day of the season on.

This year, all players should be eligible, leaving the coaching staff with a full complement of options in practice and games.

Below, a scholarship chart detailing the players' numbers, eligibility year, and hometowns/ high schools. Read on for more.

Importantly for St. John's, the team has depth inside with a rotation of big men. Last season, the team struggled to compete; the Red Storm was one of the five worst teams in the country in terms of offensive rebounds allowed, and Big East teams scored at will on them in the paint.

Size will make it harder for teams to score inside at will. Having players keep opponents from second chance opportunities also means the Red Storm can fast break their way to easier baskets.

The coaching staff will need to develop the young interior core early, with Christian Jones providing backup to God'sgift Achiuwa and new forwards JaKarr Sampson, Chris Obekpa (both rated in the top 100 as seniors by most scouting services), and a talented forward from the Dominican Republic and Monroe College, Orlando Sanchez.

The incoming size, even if the players need experience and seasoning, is an athletic complement to the returners' scoring ability. At the wings, St. John's has athletic talent in Amir Garrett and Sir`Dominic Pointer coming back. Incoming wing Marco Bourgault provides some outside shooting, the ability to stretch the floor, and the versatility to create plays for others.

In the backcourt, Phil Greene returns as a combo guard next to D`Angelo Harrison, who may play some lead guard as well. Jamal Branch, the Texas A&M transfer and top-60 player in the class of 2011, will be eligible in December and should be a major contributor at the point guard spot. Felix Balamou will be an athletic slasher in the backcourt.

But how will the rotation shake out? How long will it take the newcomers to get up to speed with Division I basketball? How long will it take this young team to gel? Or as Quinn asked in April, "are the Johnnies a shot-blocker and reliable shooter away from relevance? Or will it take more?"

Only time - and practice - will tell. What are your thoughts?

St. John's Red Storm projected roster, July 2012 Season ending…
Scholarship Player
Jersey
Pos
Ht
Wt
School
Home
yr
'13
'14
'15
'16
'17
Jakarr Sampson
14
F
6'8"
209
Brewster (NH)
OH
fr
fr
so
jr
sr
x
Felix Balamou
24
G
6'4"
185
OSNA (NY)
GN
fr
fr
so
jr
sr
x
Chris Obekpa
12
C
6'8"
225
OSNA (NY)
NG
fr
fr
so
jr
sr
x
Christian Jones
4
F
6'7"
228
IMG (FL)
TX
fr
fr
so
jr
sr
x
D`Angelo Harrison
11
G
6'3"
186
Dulles (TX)
TX
so
so
jr
sr
x
x
Phil Greene
1
G
6'2"
170
IMG (FL)
IL
so
so
jr
sr
x
x
Sir`Dominic Pointer
15
G/F
6'6"
205
Quality Ed. (NC)
MI
so
so
jr
sr
x
x
Amir Garrett
22
F
6'6"
190
Findlay (NV)
CA
so
so
jr
sr
x
x
Jamal Branch*
0
PG
6'3"
174
Grace Prep (TX)
MO
so
so
jr
sr
x
x
Marco Bourgault***
2
G/F
6'6"
210
Monroe CC (NY)
FR
so
so
jr
sr
x
x
Orlando Sanchez
33
F
6'9"
205
Monroe CC (NY)
DO
jr
jr
sr
x
x
x
God`sgift Achiuwa
3
F/C
6'9"
240
Erie CC (NY)
NG
sr
sr
x
x
x
x
Max Hooper**
10
G/F
6'6"
210
Brewster (NH)
CA
rs
x
so
jr
sr
x
Currently available roster spots
0
1
2
8
13
Projected walk-ons Home YR
'13
'14
'15
'16
'17
Jamal White
30
G
6'4"
200
Roosevelt/ LIU
NY
sr
sr
Sam Sealy
40
F
6'8"
195
Longwood (NY)
NY
so
so
jr
sr
Legend: * - eligible in December/ second semester
** - eligible in 2013-14
*** redshirted 1 season at Monroe, 2015 eligibility can be applied for

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