The rumors have been swirling that Steve Lavin has been closing in on forward Chris Obekpa as a late addition to St. John's basketball's 2012 class.
I think this picture from Christopher Obekpa's Twitter account confirms that those rumors had real legs, and that Obekpa's a member of the St. John's basketball squad.
And as we speak, Cincinnati fans are uncorking unseemly rumors about recruiting.
After a full year or more, Steve Lavin has reeled in a shot-blocking big man to the Red Storm's 2012 recruiting class, which already included transfer Jamal Branch, OSNA teammate Felix Balamou, junior college forward Orlando Sanchez and Marco Bourgault (both of Monroe College), talented forward JaKarr Sampson, and transfer Max Hooper (who won't be eligible until 2013-14).
Having missed the national Letter of Intent deadline, Obekpa will sign an aid agreement, an institutional letter that solidifies the commitment, but with (likely) fewer restrictions than an LOI.
For the Johnnies, who struggled to end possessions and stop scoring in the paint, another post player was needed. The 6'8" Christopher Obekpa is quick off of his feet to block shots, lanky, and can run the floor like former UCLA star Dan Gadzuric. God`sgift Achiuwa is strong and fast but wasn't enough to hold down the paint; new recruit Orlando Sanchez is talented, but will need help.
Obekpa brings raw athleticism to the team, though his offense is also raw. On a team with a number of offensive options, that may be a very good fit.
Assuming all players make it through the NCAA clearinghouse, the Red Storm have a number of young but athletic post options to battle the Big East with, while developing guards/ wings Phil Greene, D`Angelo Harrison, Sir`Dominic Pointer, and Amir Garrett handle the perimeter.
Guard Darrick Wood had also verbally committed to the Red Storm, but his academic issues may have caused him to postpone signing with St. John's.
Will St. John's press more next year with post options to clear up mistakes?
Will St. John's play extended defense when not worried about the squad's only bigs fouling out?
Whatever the changes, Lavin and company have to be excited about all of the options they currently have. This likely closes the 2012 class recruiting effort, one that started with hopes of Kyle Anderson, an early commit from Jevon Thomas (and a decommit), a commit from Ricardo Gathers (and a decommit), and the Norvel Pelle saga... and ended with a large and diverse class.
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