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St. John's recruiting update: getting to know Max Hooper

In the Red Storm's hunt for talent, a new recruiting name has popped up.

Hooper, a 6'6 shooting guard,graduated from Mater Dei High School in California in 2011 but went to Brewster Prep to improve his recruiting standing. He committed to Harvard, but got four minutes of playing time under Tommy Amaker with the Harvard Crimson all year - 2 against Division III MIT.

The Crimson were a talented bunch with many good players coming in or in the freshman/ sophomore class, and Max Hooper has decided to transfer out of the program.

The appropriately-surnamed Hooper has a reputation for being able to hit bunches of outside shots, and the confidence to keep shooting.

Hooper played on the Real Scout IS8 team last summer with St. John's commits JaKarr Sampson and Moe Harkless; he also played with Sampson at Brewster Academy. (He was also the player Sir`Dominic Pointer blew by for his monster dunk.)

Hooper also has interest from Loyola (IL). More, below the fold.

From ESPN's scouting report:

He has an unorthodox release but a very quick and compact stroke with no wasted motion and a high release point that enables him to get his shot off with very little separation from his defender. He makes threes spotting up, in transition, coming off screens, or even off the dribble and has the supreme confidence and short memory that every great shot maker shares.... Hooper isn't a great athlete and is also limited laterally and so must be hidden at times defensively....

His interest and offers were not high-level/ Power-Six conference offers, but he has fit in when he's played against and with high major talent on the high school level at IS8 and at Brewster. Hooper needs a player to find him, and he probably won't break someone off on the dribble, but with a little space he can break zones.

That is an important role for the Johnnies. The Red Storm have quick individual talent. But the team struggled against zones, struggled when they were forced to shoot. A shooter stretches the defense and opens space for slashers like Phil Greene and D`Angelo Harrison to get open.

The worry about Max Hooper on defense is allayed (somewhat) by the Red Storm's defensive style - a zone means he won't be often left on a defensive island if his foot speed and anticipation can't keep his man from driving. And a shooter doesn't need to play heavy minutes.

Hooper was a good enough student to get into Harvard, which means that he probably won't have any issues transferring in for next season.

Along with transfer Jamal Branch and committed recruits Felix Balamou and Jakarr Sampson, the Red Storm are targeting center Chris Obekpa (who visited last weekend), and Monroe Junior college players Orlando Sanchezand Marco Bourgault.

Max Hooper senior year highlights:

Brewster Academy game action:

Interview with Hooper from ESPN after a Brewster game:

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