We thought the recruiting for 2014 was done for St. John's. But in the ongoing search for impact talent from a coach who is willing to take on less-than-perfect players to be redeemed - Steve Lavin is supposedly hosting Dominic Artis, a transfer from Oregon, to visit the St. John's Red Storm this weekend.
Oregon transfer Dominic Artis will visit St. John's this weekend, per a source— Garrett Tucker (@GTuckerF150) June 19, 2014
While Dominic Artis, a 6-foot guard with decent passing skills, was a top 75 guard coming out of Findlay Prep (and California) in 2012, the reasons why he's leaving Oregon are the definition of baggage, at least for fans.
Artis, fellow player Damyean Dotson and Providence transfer Brandon Austin - who never suited up for the Oregon Ducks after leaving Providence on the heels of a sexual assault allegation - were booted by Dana Altman following an investigation of forcible rape at a party in March, before all played in the NCAA Tournament, defeating Brigham Young and then losing to Wisconsin.
I'll let that sink in for a moment.
None of the players were indicted. The Lane County (Oregon) District Attorney stated to the Oregonian newspaper that "while there is no doubt the incidents occurred, the conflicting statements and actions by the victim make this case unprovable as a criminal case" - basically, that this case would be very hard to prove.
The police report is available at that link, and while I read it (in May, when the information came out), I'll leave it to you to go through the Oregonian link.
The full police report is, at the very least, a reason that none of those players should be a candidate for St. John's, a school that was laid low by some questionable decision making ten years ago in Pittsburgh.
The activities that Artis participated in blur the line of consent much more than the Pitt Incident did for Elijah Ingram and company.
Our friends at Oregon site Addicted to Quack have discussed the details in the comments, and few, if any, members of that community come away thinking that these guys got a raw deal in getting the boot by Dana Altman.
Additionally, Artis averaged 4 points and 2 assists this season, losing his job while suspended for selling shoes given to him by the school.
At the very least, Artis seems like a player who needs some help with decision-making. He may deserve a second chance, but does St. John's fanbase have the stomach for that?
St. John's will have Felix Balamou, Adonis Delarosa, Keith Thomas and Christian Jones likely to return in 2015; they are pursuing Isaiah Briscoe and Cheick Diallo for the 2015 class as well.