Two weeks ago St. John's seemed to be carrying over the disappointment of missing the NCAA Tournament and losing in the first round of the NIT to the off-season. Jakarr Sampson is still going to the NBA, but will-be junior Chris Obekpa is now considering staying in Queens.
The 6'9" shot-blocking sensation after his release from the school was granted had been linked to programs including UCLA, Baylor and Oregon. According to a source at one the destination schools, "every day that Obekpa hasn’t transferred leads me to believe that he’s going to stay with St. John’s."
If Obekpa does indeed return to Queens, it will be an interesting quote book to explaining his reasoning for wanting to leave initially.
After Christ the King forward Adonis Delarosa committed to St. John's last week this team will have two scholarship players at their front line with Christian Jones returning from redshirt. Lavin is also on recruiting trip away from New York City right now, but also has been in contact with some talented players in the transfer market. Here's a look at some of the possibilities in recruiting and from transfer.
Jon Horford - The 6'10 red shirt from Michigan will be eligible to play right away, and has met with Steve Lavin already. Brother of NBA player, Al, Jon backed up Jordan Morgan when active.
D.J. Newbill - Leaving Penn State, Newbill is also eligible to play right away, and lead the Nittany Lions in scoring this year. Newbill dropped 25 on the Johnnies in the Barclays Center Classic back in November. The connection is linked to assistant coach Tony Chiles. While he was an assistant at Drexel, he heavily recruited Newbill.
Josh Cunningham - St. John's remaining interest is still up in the air on this guy. 6'6" swingman is probably the best unsigned senior in the 2014 class, and pushed back his announcement to April 18. He will be at South Carolina this weekend for an official visit. St. John's offered him a scholarship this weekend.
Keith Thomas - The top junior college Division I rebounder in the country, is on Steve Lavin’s radar and will be visiting St. John's this week. He has also stated that "St. John's can be a strong fit."
Marlon Jones - He is another player unsigned in the Top 150 on Rivals. From Chicago, Jones is also scheduled for a visit to St. John's in the next few weeks. Lavin visited him this weekend and offered the bouncy 6'9" forward a scholarship.
This was a team that severely struggled to rebound at times. And now with Sampson gone and Obekpa's status in the air at least Lavin is looking to improve the front line. He got a little improvement with Delarosa, yet there is still work to be done.