Remember last season when St. John's had overwhelming depth problems? Steve Lavin is doing everything he can to make sure you won't.
On Saturday, the Red Storm added yet another piece to its incoming 2012 recruiting class., a 6'6" forward originally from Arlington, Texas, chose St. John's over Auburn and Oklahoma State. He will join seven other newcomers to Queens this fall. The commitment was first reported by the Lenn Robbins of the New York Post.
Jones visited the St. John's campus this past week, where he watched the NBA Draft. Moe Harkless, a member of Lavin's 2011 recruiting class who also watched last year's draft as an incoming Johnnie, was selected fifteenth overall by the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday.
Though not considered to be on the level of a Harkless, IMG Academy's Christian Jones can dream too. All aspiring basketball players fantasize about making it to the big show, and St. John's may be becoming a place that makes it a reality. More below the fold.
What is there to know about Christian Jones? The athletic, versatile forward is a typical "Lavin wing" who will add to the depth of the bench for the Red Storm. For a team that played the majority of the 2011-12 season with just six players, the words "I'll have another" hit the right tune.
Jones, having played AAU ball for the Team Texas, has connections to some current Johnnies. He knows Phil Greene from the year the St. John's guard played at IMG before his freshman year in Queens. Jones' days playing in Texas also familiarized him with D`Angelo Harrison and Jamal Branch.
The forward's verbal commitment comes at the later stages of the signing period now in July and hadn't been rumored widely until this week. It is believed that the potential is in place, but his skills are in need of development. Jones may seem to be a 'mystery recruit,' but you never know what he'll be able to offer until he steps onto the court.
In his Twitter bio, Jones self-identifies himself a "hooper trying to make [his] dreams come true." Maybe St. John's and Steve Lavin are what he needs to do so.
What do you think about St. John's adding Christian Jones? Are you optimistic that he will provide solid contributions to the team in 2012-13?