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Last wk in RITG: The mud of MoMo and more updates

While we are all discovering the rapture (or the #rapture if you want to follow the laugh riot as people joke about Harold Camping's FauxMaggedon) is just not happening for us.

Oh well. Glory and milk and honey will have to find us on earth.

While we wait, let's take a look at the last week in St. John's hoops... and dip back into previous weeks, where I was chilling on vacation and didn't make a "last week in..." post.

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Updates on Momo Jones

The big news this week was the possible transfer of Momo Jones to St. John's to play for Steve Lavin.

Born as Lamont Jones and raised in Harlem, Momo played point guard for the Arizona Wildcats. News came out that he wanted to transfer to St. John's, and RITG took a look at the serious flaws in his game. Mike Dunlap and Rico Hines may be able to work miracles, but it's very hard to convince a high-usage player who is streaky (a/k/a a CHUCKER) and shows little desire to pass to suddenly become judicious in his use of the jump shot and the drive.

The initial news was that Momo Jones to St. John's was a lock... but since, conflicting reports indicate that maybe Momo would love to come to St. John's, but the staff is mulling over the very public entreaties from the guard who wants to join the rapture that will be the Red Storm.

Also interesting is that one of Momo's advisors is Dermon Player, the former assistant coach at Seton Hall and St. John's, who is currently "consulting" at the NIA Prep school... where one of Momo Jones' former coaches, Tony Bergeron, is said to coach.

And how will Momo Jones affect the roster if he comes? More on that this weekend; but the interest in Jones may have caused Ryan Harrow to back off of his interest in St. John's. Meanwhile, Jevon Thomas - slated to come to the Johnnies in 2012 - may be a little perturbed by all the point guard talent coming in, worried about being recruited over.

And it's been fun to watch a scoop-heavy, frenetic reporting about the transfer movements of a point guard who averaged 11 points and 2.5 assists per game in Pac-10 play last year, shooting .472 from inside the arc and .308 outside. Not saying he's a bad player - especially with his defensive rep - but by no means is he the... ah... second coming...

Harrow update

Ryan Harrow was supposed to visit St. John's as his last trip to check out schools, but supposedly a work conflict for Harrow's mom got in the way. May 19-27 is supposed to be a dead period for recruiting; I am unsure about whether transfers are subject to the same rules.

Harrow visited Louisville, Georgia, Texas, and Kentucky - a great school list for the former McDonald's All-American, despite his lackluster year. I have seen a source say Louisville is a favorite, another say Georgia's a favorite, and the hot rumor when Harrow announced that he would leave NC State was that he was looking to move on to Kentucky. And of course, the Harrow family has connections to Queens.

Which is to say that all the schools think they're in the pilot's seat for Harrow. We'll know where Harrow's going by the end of the days - I mean, the end of the month. Whoops. Danged rapture talk.

St. John's recruits rocking in IS8

Jakarr Sampson is making his name at IS8, and Moe Harkless has impressed. Amir Garrett popped up to ball, and Sir'Dominic Pointer has made winning plays. The Johnnies' recruits are the hot news at the IS8 playoffs in Queens. The IS8 tournament has built a strong reputation in recent years, and ringers have come in from all over to play in a little Jamaica gym in the big market.

Tomorrow morning, the semifinal matches start, and rumor has it that sharpshooting guard D'Angelo Harrison will join his fellow Johnnies on the court. We looked at what was said about Sampson, Harkless, and Pointer two weeks ago as well. These posts are a great way to get acquainted with their games before they set foot on campus to lift the program up to unprecedented heights.

Big game next season: St. John's goes to Rupp Arena

I suppose Steve Lavin doesn't turn down high-profile opportunities to showcase his kids and their talent, or to rain fire and brimstone upon top programs. Which is great, but a game against what should be a top-5 Wildcat squad in Rupp Arena in December is a tall, tall task, no matter how good the freshmen are. But St. John's vs Kentucky is a marquee game in the Big East/ SEC Challenge, on the road. 

It's one of the best matchups in the challenge, but as this rundown of the Big East/SEC Challenge shows, there are a number of compelling games, including Florida vs. Syracuse.

Rivals update

Rivals updated their recruiting rankings, with coveted point guard/ point forward Kyle Anderson as their 4th best recruit in the nation, the transcendental point guard who sees the future plays before they happen. Ricardo Gathers and Jevon Thomas both rate as well.

Speaking of recruits...

In the Recruiting Tracker feature, we took a look at Ricardo Gathers' game overall and in the AAU tournament EYBL; he shows the marks of a dominant rebounder who needs to work on his shooting skills.

Jevon Thomas also logged some time in the tournament, and his lack of a great supporting cast might hurt his stats.

Here is a review at St. John's incoming 2011 recruiting class, and addressed the question that has popped up from time to time: is Steve Lavin's recruiting class at St. John's flawed? Flawed or not, the kingdom of Taffner will be all theirs, with few established newcomers to contend with for playing time.

Profile: Dwayne Polee II

We reviewed the developing game of Dwayne Polee, wondering what he might become, what position should he play. His experience and skill/ athleticism ensure that he won't be left behind once the newcomers on the roster get their legs.