With three guards graduating and the possibility of Rysheed Jordan leaving for the NBA, Steve Lavin and St. John's must continue to stock up at the guard position through their 2015 recruiting class.
They landed another backcourt player on Saturday as the Johnnies received a verbal commitment from three-star recruit, Sammy Barnes-Thompkins of Phoenix, Arizona.
Barnes-Thompkins, who's father is a former Iowa State guard, was being recruited by many programs across the country including Utah, California, Purdue, Gonzaga, UCLA, USC and his dad's alma mater.
The 6'3" combo guard out of Sunnyslope High School can score the ball at ease using different facets of his game. He has a solid mid-range jump shot, can knock down shots from long range and he uses his length and strength to finish around the rim. Barnes-Thompkins has a smooth shot and continues to improve his ball-handling, which is key if he's going to run the point guard position. He also loves to play up-tempo and that is an area of play that St. John's has shined in, particularly this season.
The high school senior needs to improve his shot selection, movement without the ball and his quickness to be successful on the next level, but if he remains consistent and efficient he can be a solid talent for Lavin for years to come within the Big East Conference.
Also moving across the country won't be a problem for Barnes-Thompkins as he and his family have moved three times (from New Mexico to Tucson to Phoenix) during his high school career in order for him to find the perfect basketball fit.
In addition to Barnes-Thompkins, St. John's has already added point guard Samir Doughty (Philadelphia) and shooting guard Brandon Sampson (Baton Rouge) for 2015. The Johnnies are actively recruiting overseas, keeping an eye on Federico Mussini and Thomas Akyazili, while they also remain in the mix for Cheick Diallo, Marcus Lovett and Craig Randall.