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Recruiting: Sedee Keita, South Carolina transfer, to visit

The Philadelphia big man has three years to play. Can the Johnnies bring in another piece for 2018-19?

South Carolina v Duke Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

St. John’s is in need of big men. And South Carolina’s Sedee Keita, a freshman who is leaving the program, is apparently interested.

Keita, a 6’9” big man from Philadelphia, will visit St. John’s on Friday and Saturday, according to reports.

From Zagsblog:

Sources said Keita is interested in playing closer to home. He does not have any other confirmed visits at this time although UConn and Pittsburgh have been linked to him.

And also of interest is a connection to new transfer Mikey Dixon.

Sedee Keita will need to sit out the next season and will be eligible for the 2018-19 season as a sophomore. Keita was a four-star recruit in high school, where he played at the 22ft Basketball Academy; he was recruited by Temple, Providence and Penn State.

His high school coach, Ryan Schmidt, said this about Sedee Keita at the time of his commitment to South Carolina:

“Sedee’s a great kid first and foremost, a hard worker. I think the biggest thing that he brings to the table right away is his defense, his versatility. He moves really, really well for his size,” Schmidt said.

“He’s got a really nice skill set. He just needs to continue to build confidence on the offensive end. I think he’ll get there… But I think his defense and ability to defend multiple positions will allow him to get on the court early.”

Keita was listed at 240 pounds by South Carolina, putting on a solid amount of weight in his year on campus. But along with a one-game suspension for violating team rules, Keita saw scant minutes playing behind freshman center Maik Kostar (who scored 12 points against Florida in the Elite Eight this past season).

Obviously, playing time was not going to come quickly with the Gamecocks.

Sedee Keita would bring size and strength to the roster; he can rebound on defense and block shots. A year in Frank Martin’s defensively-focused program would bring a level of defensive toughness to the paint that the Johnnies sorely need.

On the downside, Keita averaged one point and two rebounds per game, shooting 28% on his shots inside the arc and 44% on his free throws. Keita, in high school, also displayed an ability to shoot from behind the arc, solid quickness and solid hand-eye coordination.

Perhaps like Tariq Owens, who transferred two years ago, his offensive skill production will increase with time in the program and repetitions.

Sedee Keita highlights

An interview with Keita, discussing an injury from last summer and settling in with South Carolina.