In a few hours, guard prospect Al-Amir Dawes of the Patrick School in New Jersey will announce his commitment; given his visits and interests, the pick comes down to Clemson, St. John’s, Seton Hall or possibly Providence.
For Chris Mullin and St. John’s, Dawes is a player that the staff have targeted in the past year as an aggressive bucket-getter, the kind of player who can take up some of the slack if and when Shamorie Ponds leaves after this season. Like Ponds, Dawes is a slasher and a layup maker who can get to the rim. Standing 6’2”, he fits the profile (if you will) of a star St. John’s guard.
In the 2018 class, where two scholarships are likely to be open (the graduating Marvin Clark II and junior Shamorie Ponds, expected to go pro after this season), the Red Storm missed on their other guard prospect, Jalen Gaffney, along with top-15 wing Scottie Lewis. Forward Aidan Igiehon cancelled his visit and has not scheduled a new date, while also seemingly leaving the door open for a Kentucky scholarship offer.
The Johnnies have what should be a solid roster for next season, assuming no transfers, and big men are probably a more glaring priority.
But a player like Dawes could step in, earn minutes, and become a star in year two or three for the Johnnies next to the likes of Mikey Dixon, Brian Trimble, Jr, Eli Wright and Greg Williams.
Dawes is ranked 147 in the 247 Sports Composite and in the top-100 by ESPN. Recent Crystal Ball predictions have leaned toward Clemson.
On the court with the Playaz Basketball Club in EYBL play, Dawes shot 44% on two-pointers, 31% on threes and 77% from the free throw line, taking 26% of his team’s shots. With a solid 4.3 assists per game (24% of his teammates’ shots) and a strong steal rate (3.4%), Dawes profiles as a player with potential and upside in the backcourt.