Mid-summer. The temperatures are rising, people have stepped away to go on vacation, baseball is in full swing (while professional football and professional basketball are in labor negotiations)... so it's been quiet for many of us.
But not for the next generation of hoops stars - for St. John's and other programs - who are playing in summer leagues, getting to campus, and going to camps to attract the eyes of college coaches around the country.
On this blog, we are continuing/ finishing our look at the Red Storm rotation last year and their 4-year careers as Johnnies. And we are looking at the holes each Big East team needs to fill next year. Also, read on for links and notes about who St. John's is looking at in the July live recruiting period, including Kyle Anderson and Ricardo Gathers. And we're checking in on which of the incoming 2011 players has made it to campus.
St. John's live period updates
As discussed earlier in the week, St. John's basketball recruiting from 2012 and beyond is less about filling a whole roster, as the coaching staff had to do last year. This July, Steve Lavin and staff are about identifying players who can make an impact for the Red Storm in the future in the case of the current class leaving early. It's also about identifying the next wave of high major talent. A real departure from the previous years, for sure.
One of the main targets, Kyle Anderson, was observed by Red Storm coaches Steve Lavin and Tony Chiles at the LeBron James skills camp and by Lavin and Rico Hines at the Hoop Group Elite camp. Kyle Anderson says he'll decide his school choice by September 20th, his birthday. Anderson likes the job the Red Storm recruiters are doing. And from the same article, why colleges are hot for Kyle?
“He sees the game like a 10-year NBA veteran, very Magic Johnson-like,” one Division I assistant coach familiar with Anderson said. “His basketball intellect is the best of any player we have evaluated in recent years. He processes the game at a higher level than any player in his class, which is a unique attribute for a player his size.”
Here is a preview of Ricardo Gathers' Louisiana Select team, who will be competing in Nike's Peach Jam Championships this week. Gathers' free throw shooting problem is prominently mentioned, as is his sheer indomitable strength. Gathers is the other main target for the Red Storm, filling in the lack of size and strength in the post for the Johnnies.
St. John's has been reported to be looking at Chris McCullough, a standout 2014 forward, at the Hoop Group Elite camp (where the social media is being handled by our Johnny Jungle brethren, Dave Krupinski and Dan Martin, among others). McCullough has strong interest in the Red Storm as well.
Video on Chris McCullough, he's bouncy:
Also being observed by St. John's:
Lavin and Hines were observing 2012 7-foot center Blaise Mbargorba.
2013 point guard Rysheed Jordan, standing 6'4", also has interest from St. John's.
Cardozo's Jermaine Lawrence also has an offer from St. John's. He's a 6'9", 190 pound lanky 2013 forward from Springfield Gardens with a number of high major offers for the 2013 recruiting class. Of interest: he's a Seventh-Day Adventist, and at this point, may not play on Friday nights or Saturday afternoons. (As I remember it from grade school, he can't have birthday parties either.)
2014 center Dakari Johnson, a top prospect, also has interest from the Red Storm.
A player named Dionte Adams, a 6'7" 2012 forward, also claims interest from the Red Storm.
New players on campus
The 2011 class is training on campus, mostly.
But both Norvel Pelle and Amir Garrett are taking summer high school classes at Rise Academy in Philadelphia, working to get eligible. A little bit of a surprise from Garrett, who was never rumored to have serious academic issues.
Looks at next year in the Mind the Gap series
In the Mind the Gap series, we've looked at West Virginia, a team that returns the second-fewest minutes in the Big East, and at Villanova, a squad that has to replace its allotment of Coreys - and don't have proven shooters waiting on the bench.
Looking back at last year in Red Storm in Review
In the Red Storm in Review series, we profiled guard Malik Boothe and forward Sean Evans, part of the roster shakeup that brought the Red Storm to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in almost ten years.