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St. John's basketball - all stars, Mike Dunlap update, recruiting update

Catching up with tidbits of St. John's basketball news:

Current players

As mentioned yesterday, Dwight Hardy and Justin Burrell will participate in NABC's three-point shooting contest, dunk contest, and All-Star game. The three-point shooting contest and dunk contest are tonight at 9:00 PM Eastern, 8:00 PM Central time - I'll be watching.

Justin Burrell, on what dunk he's going to do (from the Middletown Times-Record):

"I can't give away the secret," Burrell said. "I can't give you anything. I know you will be watching, though. I know you will be watching. I'm going to try my hardest, I'm going to give it everything I've got."

Asked how long he's been practicing his dunk, Burrell, who helped St. John's to the NCAA tournament for the first time in nine years this season, said, "Forever, forever. Once I found out I was in the contest, I started working on it. I worked on it all week." Burrell, a 6-foot-8, 245-pound power forward, said he could break out his special dunk in the first round. But he also might save it for the finals.


The All-Star game is Friday at 5:30 PM Eastern... I'll watch that on delay. I mean, what kind of time is that for an event?! The people of Houston will still be at work when the game starts.

Also, Dwight Hardy received a second-team honor from the ECAC (.pdf) (Eastern College Athletic Conference) group. And Hardy's an honorable mention AP All-American. Lots of accolades for the baller from the Bronx, congratulations. This is what hard work can do; Hammer to Rock.

Mike Dunlap update

Cal State bakersfield feels fit to drop Dunlap's name in their coaching search to get people excited. That's silly talk:

A local television report mentioned Mike Dunlap as a potential candidate. Dunlap turned around Metro University in Denver and made it a Division II power and has moved on to assistant jobs at Arizona, Oregon and St. John's.

"You won't get Mike Dunlap," said one longtime NCAA coach who requested anonymity. "Mike's looking at the Fresno States, Wyomings and Utahs of the world. And you can't pay him what he's making now, $400,000."

Meanwhile, Florida assistant and one-time Wyoming and Clemson coach Larry Shyatt is interviewing at Wyoming. Rumor has it he's pretty much in, with salaries for assistants + recruiting budget a sticking point.

Recruiting update

God's Gift Achiuwa has St. John's on his list for a visit on April 21st. He's a 6'8 forward originally from Nigeria (and his name is for real - his father is very religious). He will also be visiting Cincinnati, and tentatively the Washington Huskies as well. For what should be the last available scholarship, Steve Lavin is focusing on a big man who can battle and rebound, since the recruiting class is composed of many wings, but few post players.

Jamari Traylor is looking to make a visit to St. John's as well. He is a 6'7 forward known for his ruggedness and rebounding - fitting the team's need.