St. John's recruiting: Lavin watches Jermaine Lawrence

USA TODAY Sports

The Queens forward remains high on the Red Storm's recruiting radar.

Jermaine Lawrence's hand injury kept him on the Pope John XXIII High School (NJ) sideline for the first part of the season. He made his return on Thursday night, and Steve Lavin was there to watch.

The 6'9" St. John's target from Queens' Springfield Gardens has been on Lavin's radar for quite some time. Ranked 19th overall in ESPN's Top 100 recruits for 2013, Lawrence could fill a void and create a formidable front line for St. John's alongside Chris Obekpa and JaKarr Sampson.

Lawrence scored 18 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and blocked five shots in Pope John XXIII's 58-36 victory over Morris Hills on Thursday.

In the fall, Lawrence cut his list of possible destinations to just three - St. John's, Cinncinnati, and UNLV. The Bearcats were also heavily in the running for Obekpa last spring before current Big East blocks leader eventually chose the Red Storm.

It had been reported earlier this week that Lawrence was planning an unofficial visit to St. John's for this weekend. He has since delayed the visit, which will occur in the coming weeks. He visited both Cincinnati and UNLV in the fall.

Lawrence is not expected to sign with one of the three schools until the spring, according to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. Zagoria also mentioned that Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin visited one of Lawrence's workouts earlier this week.

Lavin was joined by assistant coach Tony Chiles at Lawrence's game on Thursday, a day after the Johnnies' road victory over Rutgers.

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