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St. John’s recruiting: new 2017 guard target? Red Storm offer Farrakhan

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Plus: St. John’s heads to Kansas City for a visit of a 2017 forward; check in on a 2018 guard.

by Wendell Cruz

While many are remarking on the thorough and soul-eating demolition of Syracuse at the Dome by St. John’s last night, St. John’s is still playing the long game. The Johnnies were actively working the phones after the contest last night, and some recruiting tidbits have emerged today...

2017 class: Derrick Walker, C.J. Kelly

St. John’s traveled to Kansas City to see Sunrise Christian forward Derrick Walker, a 6’8” big man who may not be a top-100 player, but is able to do some dirty work inside - still a weakness for St. John’s. The Red Storm visited a week ago as well. West Virginia is also showing interest.

Meanwhile, St. John’s is inviting wing/ guard C.J. Kelly to the St. John’s/ Creighton game on Wednesday, January 4th.

Who, you may ask?

Kelly is a 6’5” guard from Queens High School for Teaching. Despite only earning low- and mid-major offers so far, Kelly is known for his athleticism. Kelly is originally from Wyandanch but transferred to the Glen Oaks, Queens school in the fall of 2015 to raise his profile - while also rolling with the Under-Armour affiliated NY Jayhawks in AAU play.

There are two highlights at 1:50 that might be intriguing below.

What does this mean?

With St. John’s seemingly at capacity - 12 scholarship players on the roster now, with two sitting out a transfer year, and the incoming Zach Brown, who has sent in his letter of intent - the desire to look at other players could be the Johnnies covering their tails in case of departures or it could mean St. John’s thinks a player might leave.

In the first case, let’s laud the staff for not quitting on recruiting as some staffs have. Players find all kinds of reasons to decide to find greener pastures - especially on a full roster. Additionally, Darien Williams is listed as a senior and rarely plays, so perhaps he will not come back despite being likely able to win a redshirt season due to his injuries.

Mullin has said that he can’t see himself playing more than ten players at a time, so perhaps in anticipation of a player hearing about a diminished role and leaving (as both incoming transfers chose to do), the staff is looking to be prepared.

Derrick Walker fills a need for a big body in the post. C.J. Kelly might fill a need, but might also be a player who can develop while watching from the bench on a roster with Bashir Ahmed, Malik Ellison and Justin Simon logging minutes at the wing and forward spots.

2018 class: Greg Williams comments on top suitors

Greg Williams, a guard from Louisiana’s Lafayette Christian, is working to become a complete offensive player, and has drawn the attention of some high major schools. We have written about him before, but the Red Storm have been checking in on him.

Per Hoop Seen, Williams says St. John’s is a good environment, and that the staff “is a very seasoned one with a lot of NBA experience that played at that level.”

On the Baylor Bears, despite the recent scandals that have surrounded the football team, Williams says the program is “like a big family environment” and the school is “a good Christian school.”

2020’s new name: Noah Farrakhan

It’s only 2016, so let’s not get too amped up about potential 2020 recruits. But the Johnnies continue to attack the talented 2020 class.

Noah Farrakhan is a point guard from St. Benedict’s Prep, standing about 6’1” tall. Farrakhan, who is expected to have a major role for the New Jersey prep power, will be playing with new transfer Precious Achiuwa - a 2019 prospect that St. John’s has eyes on (whose brother, God`sGift Achiuwa, played for St. John’s). Farrakhan plays for the NJ Playaz in AAU as well. Descriptions of Farrakhan’s play speak glowingly of his basketball IQ.

Good thing we have highlight videos for more evaluation...

(Posh Alexander, another target, is in the black, and Farrakhan is in the white.)