Back in the day, Ricky Torres was St. John's first solid, touted NYC recruit, the 102nd recruit in Rivals' 2005 rankings. He played at Rice High School, caught attention from the likes of Louisville, but decided to stay home:
I picked St. John's over those two schools because I'd have the right people surrounding me, and I think I have the best chance of playing right away. That was my main concern, playing right away. Also I want to stay next to my little brother, who has Down's Syndrome. So I want to stay next to him and my family.... I was the first one to commit to St. John's under Norm Roberts. Coach Roberts and Coach [Chuckie] Martin.
From there.... well, below the fold.
But the city baller couldn't get on the court at the New York City school. And when he was on the court his shot was mediocre - a slow release that often missed its target. His touch hadn't left - his free throw percentage was at 76% in his second and final year at St. John's.
He hadn't become an absolute bricklayer, but he wasn't on the court long enough to get into rhythm. He tried on defense, but always looked a step slow, and his conditioning was off. At the end of the year, he chose to leave the team (along with outside shooter Avery Patterson, who had some beef with Coach Norm Roberts). Their scholarships were granted to current guard forward DJ Kennedy and forward Sean Evans.
One wonders if Ricky knew that Patterson was going to transfer, and Qa'rraan Calhoun would leave at the end of the year, if he would have gone through with the transfer. Slow or not, he would have gotten some minutes on last year's freshman-dominated St. John's squad. If Norm Roberts wanted him there, which he may not have.
Torres was supposed to end up at University of Maryland - Baltimore County, but decided to leave after a semester (note - quotes are out of order):
At St. John's, however, Torres spent most of his time on the bench. He played sparingly as a freshman and averaged only 7.1 minutes per game during the 2007 season. Soon after, he watched the assistant who recruited him, Chuck Martin, leave for Memphis.
"It was tough," Torres said....
"I needed to get away from home," said Torres, a rising junior who will practice with the team in the fall but won't be eligible to play until January. "There were too many distractions."
And now, Torres is in Norfolk Virginia, suiting up for Norfolk State after the first semester. Their new coach Anthony Evans has New York connections and has brought a few other NYC players down the coast to Norfolk for his upcoming season.
He should have two years of eligibility available, though I don't know how that works with half-season transfers. Here's hoping that Ricky can find his niche at small forward for the MEAC squad.