With three to four big men on the upcoming season's roster - Chris Obekpa, the redshirted Christian Jones and new recruit Adonis Delarosa, plus possibly his brother Joey, St. John's is still beating the late, sparse bushes for reliable options at the forward position. While the number of bodies might be equivalent to last year's squad, only Chris Obekpa is a known quantity.
Consider: Christian Jones had one strong Big East game. Adonis Delarosa is a freshman who is noted to have potential but need some work on the college level. And his brother Joey has not played competitive ball in a year and averaged seven minutes a game at Florida International in the Sun Belt.
The Johnnies need known options to rebound the ball - and to help shepherd in the next class of players when current team stars leave. After Marlon Jones chose Loyola-Chicago and Josh Cunningham chose Bradley in Peoria, IL, who do the Johnnies have left on their list?
Keith Thomas, F
Rebounding machine Keith Thomas Westchester County Community College will make a decision on Monday. His list includes Loyola-Chicago (though hard to know if Jones' commitment changes his decision tree), South Florida, Fordham and St. John's. He's a 6'6" player who led the junior college ranks in rebounding.
Fordham is said to be coming up as a strong dark horse in Thomas' recruitment... and it IS Kentucky Derby weekend, so maybe dark horses have more of a chance.
Ryan Martin, F
St. John's is looking at another junior college player, Ryan Martin from South Plains Junior College (the JUCO alma mater of Marshall Henderson). Martin is coming on an official visit this weekend.
Martin, listed at 6'8", 220 pounds is from London, England, and played at Bridgton Academy. Per Zagsblog, "with his length, and skill and athleticism, he is a good fit [for St. John's]". He had a pair of 20-rebound games as a freshman at South Plains, one of the better junior college programs in the country, and averaged 12.3 points/ 7.2 rebounds as a sophomore on that level.
Ryan Martin, a 6-8 sophomore forward out of London, England, is having a very productive year so far. He is averaging 14.2 points and 8 rebounds per game this year. Martin is very productive around the rim and shoots the ball at a high percentage (55%) from the field. Martin has interest from Arizona State, Gonzaga, VCU, Utah State and Louisiana Lafayette.
And from this week - St. John's saw him play last weekend in Dallas.
Ryan Martin, a 6’9 forward from South Plains College, will take an official visit to St. John’s this weekend. Martin had a very good showing at the All American Availables Showcase last weekend in Dallas with St. John’s in attendance. He is skilled for his size and has the ability to score the ball in the low post with his back to the basket. Martin has good athletic ability and moves well for his size. He averaged 12 points and 7 rebounds per game at South Plains.
Ryan Martin starts his official visit on Saturday. For more photos of Martin, see this photo set from the Hutchinson (KS) News.
Ryan Martin Highlights/ mixtape video
Myles Stewart, G/F
St. John's has a walk-on for next year named Myles Stewart who played for Cal Supreme AAU and at Westchester High in Los Angeles. He's a wing shooter.
Myles Stewart, Westchester HS interview with highlights
Myles Stewart, Mixtape
Myles Stewart, Cal Supreme Highlights
Brandon Sampson, a top-100 guard from Madison Prep Academy in Baton Rouge, will come to St. John's for an official visit "in a couple of weeks". He's a 2015 shooting guard listed at 6'4", 175 pounds. ESPN's evaluation states he's "still scratching the surface to his potential", and finds the prospect of playing in Madison Square Garden "exciting".
Brandon Sampson Highlights/ Interview
Per Court cred, St. John's offered Malik Beasley, a 6'5" 2015 guard.
2015 guard Malik Beasley of the GA Stars just picked up offers from GA Tech, Ole Miss and St. John's. @MaLiKK_5— CourtCred (@courtcred) April 26, 2014
From Alpharetta, GA, Beasley plays AAU for the Atlanta Celtics and high school ball at St. Francis School.