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Sedee Keita officially a member of the St. John’s basketball program

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The South Carolina transfer will have three years of eligibility after sitting out next season.

NCAA Basketball: South Carolina at Florida Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

St. John’s posted the official news that Sedee Keita, a 6’9” forward, has agreed to be a scholarship athlete at St. John’s. Keita, a transfer from the South Carolina program that reached the Final Four last season, committed after his visit last weekend.

From the release:

“We are excited to welcome Sedee to our basketball family,” said St. John’s head coach Chris Mullin. “Sedee is a very athletic big man with a wide frame who comes with high major experience.”

A consensus four-star, top-100 recruit in the Class of 2016, Keita played in 29 games as a freshman last season during South Carolina’s run to the Final Four. He logged 9.6 minutes per game while averaging 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds. Keita finished the season fourth on the team with 11 blocks, as he made two of those rejections in an Elite Eight victory over Florida at Madison Square Garden.

“We believe Sedee can really develop in our system as he works closely with our staff,” Mullin added. “His strength, physicality and ability to run the floor certainly will add a new dimension to our roster.”

Keita will sit out next season and be eligible in 2018-19 for Chris Mullin’s St. John’s team. He will have three years of eligibility, and will bolster a thin front line for the Red Storm.

After an offseason that began with worry for St. John’s fans, it seems that Chris Mullin has turned to Matt Abdelmassih’s style of recruiting - finding players both in the high school ranks and the transfer “market” to locate four-star talents.

It worked well at Iowa State. Will it yield NCAA Tournament berths for St. John’s? The talent level certainly seems to be there, even if the Johnnies lack interior bulk once again next season.