Phil Wait is officially a member of the Red Storm's recruiting class. From the Red Storm press release:
June 9, 2008
QUEENS, N.Y. - St. John's head men's basketball coach Norm Roberts announced the signing of English big man Phil Wait to a national letter of intent to join the Red Storm for the 2008-09 season. Wait, a 7-1, 245-pound center originally from Manchester, England, is the third spring signee for Roberts' squad, in addition to guards TyShwan Edmondson (Hopkinsville, Ky./University Heights Academy) and Quincy Roberts (Harrisburg, Pa./Harrisburg), who both signed in late April.
"Phil is a great kid with great size and an unbelievable basketball I.Q.," said Roberts, entering his fifth year at the helm of the Red Storm. "He will certainly add size to our program and the kind of skill level in the low post that can make an impact for us next season."
A long and talented true big man, Wait can score over both shoulders, is an adept passer out of the post and owns a solid jumper to 15-feet. The skilled center spent the 2007-08 season at the Gran Canaria Basketball Academy off the coast of Spain, following two years in prep school at Proctor Academy in Andover, New Hampshire.
Wait played for coach Gregor Makechnie for two seasons at Proctor in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC), the same league as former Bridgton Academy (Maine) stars and current St. John's teammates Justin Burrell and Paris Horne. As a junior in 2005-06, Wait helped the Hornets to an appearance in the NEPSAC championship game, while playing alongside Proctor teammate and current UConn guard Jerome Dyson. Wait averaged 15.0 points and 10.0 rebounds as a senior at Proctor in 2006-07.
"Phil is a big, long guy that is very mobile and athletic for his size, and by all accounts he added more strength during his year in Spain," said Makechnie. "He is a delightful young man. I think people at St. John's and fans of the program will enjoy getting to know Phil."
"Getting to know" Phil? Did his old coach just call him Mr. Congeniality?
I do hope he is a good passer; it's a dimension the Red Storm sorely, sorely lacks, especially on the inside. Burrell is strong and quick to finish from an interior pass; and passing inside and then to the weak side is a good way to get a perimeter player a look. Or, you know, passing at all, versus dribbling the air out of the ball.
And Phil Wait's size will be a real help to the Red Storm in the Big East. And skill helps as well. Very interested in seeing this three-man class on campus next season.