Well, St. John’s surprise December commit is the surprise decommit in February, after the losing streak. J’Raan Brooks,a top-80 forward from Seattle, will not be coming across the country to play at St. John’s as the scoring option in the paint.
Four star forward J’Raan Brooks has decommitted from St Johns, per source. Was told he had doubts about being so far from home and didn’t think it was his best option. #sjubb— Zach Braziller (@NYPost_Brazille) February 15, 2018
With Brooks getting doubts about coming to St. John’s for the distance reason (or any other reason, such as worries about the team’s record or how it is progressing or playing time), the Johnnies lose the most highly-regarded member of their three-man recruiting class.
St. John’s has on the roster next season, barring any departures (stars denote newcomers):
SR: Marvin Clark II (F), Kassoum Yakwe (F), Tariq Owens (F/C)
JR: Shamorie Ponds (G), Marcus LoVett (G), Justin Simon (G)
SO: Mikey Dixon* (G), Sedee Keita* (F/C), Bryan Trimble Jr. (G)
FR: Boubacar Diakite* (SF), Greg Williams* (G), Josh Roberts* (F)
Look for St Johns to be active adding a forward for next year. Could go for a grad transfer big. Also involved with some high school kids. Staff is very high on sit out transfers Sedee Keita and Mikey Dixon. #sjubb— Zach Braziller (@NYPost_Brazille) February 15, 2018
“Barring any departures,” of course, is pretty fluid. We would not expect to see Marcus LoVett return, since he had considered going pro, and if his injury requires months of recovery, he may want to simply play abroad for money instead of risking himself stateside in college at age 21.
We should add that both Marvin Clark and Tariq Owens have had redshirt years, and that means they could be eligible to be grad transfers.
Assuming one departure from the list above, there are two open scholarships. With a packed roster, it could be useful to find an impact transfer — like Clark and Simon have been — to sit out a year.
The Red Storm have been actively recruiting Stepinac guard Alan Griffin, a 6’4” guard from Ossining, NY who has been productive. The Johnnies also have received a visit from forward Marcellus Earlington, a 6’5” forward who played defensive end at Don Bosco Prep.
Where will they go next?
At this point, teams are often reaching for talent, but there are some players who can be immediate contributors who are still available.
Is the roster sans J’Raan Brooks good enough to get into the top half of the Big East? This team needs bench players who can rebound and defend in the post, perimeter defenders, and a player who can replace the things Bashir Ahmed tries to do (versatility, slashing on offense) — all while being low-turnover players.
It’s a tall order, and we will see how the staff addresses the team needs, if they have not already been addressed by the recruiting and transfer class.