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St. John’s targets, part 1: transfers eligible in the future

A quick look at four possible transfer targets - with video highlights.

NCAA Basketball: Connecticut at Central Florida Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

St. John’s basketball ended the season with some improvements, some high notes... but the team was still 14-19 at the end of the year, with some glaring needs for the future.

The staff has not been shy about taking advantage of the transfer market, selling players on the idea of playing in New York for two Hall of Fame coaches and in the Big East.

So far, that has been successful as a method of bringing in players; Tariq Owens, a skinny oversight at Tennessee, made a name for himself on the floor with his relentless play.

Meanwhile, Justin Simon (previously at Arizona) and Marvin Clark, Jr. (formerly at Michigan State) are expected to be major contributors next season and can be seen providing leadership from the bench, for what that’s worth.

Can St. John’s strike gold with one or two more transfers who will need to sit out a year on the sidelines?

Possibly.

Consider that Marcus LoVett (if he returns) or possibly even Shamorie Ponds could look for professional opportunities next season. Bashir Ahmed and Amar Alibegovic finish their eligibility after next season. Federico Mussini and Kassoum Yakwe will be seniors after next year.

Clearly, the team will want to continue to add both experience and talent, and transfers are a way to get players. Here are a quartet of players who are NOT immediately eligible that St. John’s may be looking at: Marcus Evans, Steven Enoch, Peter Kiss and Michael Weathers. All were mentioned in a tweet from NY Post’s Zach Braziller.

Marcus Evans, Rice | 6’2”, 190 lb. | G | Soph.

Marcus Evans is a high-volume scorer with some talent. Think Marcus LoVett with more of a scoring urge and less slick passing. But he has strength and some excellent skills to get himself free for shots. Here is is against Pittsburgh...

Why is he transferring? Well, do you even know where Rice University is? Did you know their basketball team won 23 games? And then their coach moved on to take the Virginia Commonwealth job? Do you play in gyms this empty [video] and have to go to southern Mississippi? That was unnecessary, but you get the point.

Why should St. John’s be interested? Marcus Evans gets buckets by himself. Buckets help win basketball games. He moves the ball. He shot 39% outside the arc and 48% inside the arc - it was against a soft schedule, but he performed well against Middle Tennessee, the NCAA Tournament team that defeated Minnesota.

He will have two years of eligibility remaining starting in 2018-19.

Steven Enoch, Connecticut | 6’11”, 248 lb. | C | Soph.

Steven Enoch is a big man who came to the game of basketball late and earned inconsistent minutes at UConn behind two solid big men in Amida Brinmah and Kentan Facey. His defense was inconsistent and in the small sample size, his scoring was subpar.

Why is he transferring? Unsure. He should have been in line for an increase in minutes with the two centers in front of him graduating. But maybe Enoch just looked around an realized he was in Storrs, CT. [This is not the reason. He’s from Norwalk, CT, so he knew where he was going.]

Why should St. John’s be interested? Thing is, though: Steven Enoch is pretty darn athletic.

This could be a nice upside/ player development opportunity. St. John’s needs big men who can get up and down the court. Tariq Owens, a 6’11” player who barely saw the floor at Tennessee, flourished after his redshirt season at St. John’s.

This is Enoch at his best. It’s a long highlight video, but start at 4:24 to see Enoch working in the post, his agility & his finishing ability.

He will have two years of eligibility remaining starting in 2018-19.

Michael Weathers, Miami of Ohio | 6’2” 161 lb. | G | Fr.

Let’s nip this **** in the bud right now, despite St. John’s contacting the MAC Freshman of the Year.

Why is he transferring? Michael is transferring with his twin brother Marcus. That’s two scholarship spots. And additionally, they want to be closer to home.

“We just want to be closer to home or have a different opportunity,” Michael Weathers said in a phone interview Tuesday. “We feel like now is the right time for the decision for both of us to go into a new program and help a team win.”...

Michael said he has not had contact with other schools but added, “My dream was always to play at KU.” Asked about other local schools such as Kansas State, Wichita State and Missouri, he said, “As long as I can go into a program right away and help that team win, it doesn’t matter where it is, but yeah, I would love to play closer to home if possible.”

Why should St. John’s be interested? He’s a high-scoring guard who is also a high-level passer; his brother is a 6’5” wing who draws fouls and rebounds.

I mean, it could happen. Playing at a high level with a twin brother is a hard thing to do late in the scholarship season, and St. John’s does have three open scholarship spots. Still, I have my doubts.

He will have three years of eligibility remaining starting in 2018-19.

Peter Kiss, Quinnipiac | 6’5” 190 lb. | G | Fr.

I’ve personally seen Peter Kiss play for Quinnipiac twice. I don’t know that he’s a made-for-Big East player. But Kiss is from New York City and is a bit of a late bloomer. And I think that, if the Johnnies can generate an inside presence and have other guards, Kiss could be a very, very good shooter/ scorer for the Johnnies.

Kiss is a good passer, tallying seven assists twice. He increased his minutes per game all season as Quinnipiac tried to keep their head coach’s job (they failed, and former Villanova assistant Baker Dunleavy is now the head coach). As one of two main scoring options for the Bobcats, his scoring tailed off hard from outside the arc, going 0/17 over the course of four games.

Why is he transferring? New coach = wasn’t recruited by coach, so seeking new opportunities.

Why should St. John’s be interested? A member of the all-MAAC rookie team, Kiss took on a large role leading Quinnipiac to competitiveness late in the season, averaging 13 points, three assists and six rebounds per game.

And that jump shot is pretty nice. Also, the Seton Hall highlights show him talking some smack on the court.

He will have three years of eligibility remaining starting in 2018-19.