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St. John's 2011 recruiting update: Maurice Harkless is in

On Twitter, Lenn Robbins reports that 6'6" (or 6'8") Maurice HarklessMaurice Harkless has committed to play for the St. John's Red Storm in 2011. He is the first of many recruits for the class, and an excellent start as Steve Lavin and crew reshape the roster.

Maurice Harkless will announce at 3PM under the marquee at Madison Square Garden. Nice touch.

Harkless is from Queens, played at Forest Hills High School, and will be moving on to South Kent Prep for his senior year. He was originally committed to Connecticut, but wasn't feeling the love. So he opened up his recruitment, balling at Rumble in the Bronx, ($), coming to the St. John's Skills camp earlier this summer and then blew up at summer AAU events.

The prospect of Harkless suiting up for the Johnnies is exciting for the program. The next few weeks will see some important official and unofficial visits from 2011 players. Though other schools have snapped up some of the top recruits St. John's has been after, there are a lot of impact players left from coast to coast.

An evaluation of Harkless and some video below >>>

From Slam Magazine:

Maurice Harkless, 6-6 forward, Forest Hills (NY), Class of 2011: Harkless (right) is no longer a sleeper. I’m truly happy to see him getting all the national attention he’s gotten this summer. I’ll have an exclusive piece on him next week. He decide to reopen his recruitment earlier this summer when he de-committed from UConn after giving them a verbal last fall. Harkless can get to the basket and finish in all type of ways. The lanky rising senior has good ball-handling skills and can score off the dribble either by finishing at the basket or through his polished mid-range jumper; not that he can’t knock it down off the catch as well. Maurice is very slick in the lane and uses his athleticism to the best of his advantage. He has decided to leave the city and transfer to South Kent Prep in Connecticut for his senior campaign. Expect to continue to see his name being mentioned in the upcoming months.

With a brand new team in 2011 (9 seniors graduating this year, 10 scholarships available), this is the kind of creative scorer this team will need. And one of the top New York City talents as well? The staff will get some more local commitments. The recruiting plan is working.