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St. John's vs Villanova game - also a big recruiting day for Red Storm

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Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, today's game against Villanova is important for the present of St. John's basketball. The team is winless on the Big East season; and though this is a developmental year, wins are the fuel that help keep development going.

The side game along the basketball game involves the number of top recruiting targets the Red Storm are bringing to the game - players who they hope will drink in the atmosphere of potential around Chris Mullin's unit, which includes three seniors and a junior.

Here is a list of recruits slated to be at today's game, as mentioned by the NY Post's Zach Brazier (all information compiled by Katherine Acquavella and Jack Manning):

Shamorie Ponds

Ponds, the first 2016 commit under Chris Mullin and his staff, is the 41st ranked player on ESPN's top 100 recruiting list for 2016. Ponds chose the Johnnies over Minnesota, Providence and Creighton. Ponds is the 12th ranked player in the country at his position and is the third best player in New York state. The Brooklyn native, who is the highest rated local product to commit to the Red Storm since 2011, averaged 25 points, nine rebounds and six assists as a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School. Ponds is set to join Federico Mussini, Marcus LoVett and Malik Ellison in the Johnnies backcourt next season.

Point guard
Hometown - Brooklyn, New York
School - Thomas Jefferson High School
6'1" - 160
Class - 2016

Highlights

Rawle Alkins

St. John's is pursuing five-star recruit Rawle Alkins, who transferred from Christ the King in New York City to Word of God Christian Academy this summer. Alkins led Christ the King to three straight city titles in hit time there, playing in what is perhaps the most competitive high school league in the country. Arizona, NC State, UNC, and Kentucky are among others in the recruiting trail. Alkins is ranked as the No. 17 overall recruit in the 2016 class according to 247sports.com. With a combination of power and athleticism, Alkins is almost unrivaled on the wing.

Shooting guard
Hometown - Brooklyn, New York
School - Word of God Christian Academy (North Carolina)
6'5" - 210
Class - 2016

Highlights

Isaiah Washington

The St. Raymond junior has shown signs of leadership and offensive skills that make him a tough player to guard. The 6-foot-160-pound point guard is also being recruited by Cincinnati, Indiana, Iona, Minnesota, Providence and Rutgers.

Point guard
Hometown - Bronx, New York
School - St. Raymond High School
6'0" - 160
Class - 2017

Highlights

Sidney Wilson

Teammates with Washington, Wilson is another four-star recruit from the class of 2017. Wilson's also being looked at by Rutgers, Indiana and Minnesota. Wilson's ranked number sixth in the state in his position, per ESPN.

Small forward
Hometown - Bronx, New York
School - St. Raymond High School
6'0" - 170
Class - 2017

Highlights

Jordan Tucker

Jordan Tucker is a 6-7 forward from White Plains. He attends Archbishop Stepinac. The junior is ranked #30 in the 2017 ESPN 60. Other teams in the mix include Arizona, Syracuse, UCONN, Maryland and Indiana. He is an excellent ball handler with the ability to shoot from deep and mid-range.

Highlights

Aundre Hyatt

Aundre Hyatt is a sophomore who also plays at Archbishop Stepinac. He is a 6-5 wing. According to future150.com, "Hyatt appears to be a potentially elite "three-and-D" type forward. His stroke from beyond the arc is effective, while he has the tools to be an elite defender. Hyatt can also handle the ball decently for a player his size," and other teams interested include Oklahoma, Stanford, VCU, Ohio State and Yale.

Class - 2018

Che Evans

Che Evans is a member of the class of 2020. He is widely considered one of the best players in his age group. Evans is from Baltimore, Maryland. Some teams pursuing Evans are Arizona, Arizona State, Georgia Tech, Kansas State, Kentucky, Maryland, St. John's, UCLA, and UNLV. According to future150, Evans is a great passer and ball handler but has a developing shot.

Class - 2020

Highlights

Mamadou Doucoure

Mamadou Doucoure is a sophomore at Our Savior New American School on Long Island. He is a 6-9 forward. According to 24/7sports, UCONN, Maryland, Pittsburgh and Seton Hall are in contention for the big man's services. According to future150, "Doucoure runs the floor very well for a young big man and blocks a ton of shots. He finishes around the rim and does a great job of playing hard on both ends of the floor."

Class - 2018

Boubacar Diakite

Boubacar Diakite is also at sophomore at Our Savior New American School on Long Island. He is a 6-7 Small Forward. According to future150.com, "Diakite has vastly improved over the past year and is now fairly skilled offensively. He can put the ball on the floor a bit and showed decent touch shooting the ball as well. He attacks the glass with an intensity and finishes everything around the rim." Diakite is considering UCONN, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall and Wake Forest in addition to St. John's.

Class - 2018

Bryce Willis

Bryce Wills is a 6-3 point guard who attends Iona Prep. He is also a class of 2018 player. According to future150.com, Wills is a good ball handler who can shoot the three. Wills is being courted by other local programs Hofstra, Iona, Fordham to go along with Maryland.

Class - 2018

Aidan Igiehon

Aidan Igiehon is a 6-8 power forward. He is a freshman who attends Lawrence Woodmere Academy on Long Island. His coach Jordan Weiss told the Long Island Herald, he as height and talent but is still progressing as a player. Villanova recently attended one of his games.

Class - 2019