For years, the St. John’s men’s basketball staff has been recruiting some of the New York region’s top talent, laying groundwork for a potential breakthrough class or two of homegrown incoming freshman talent that is the spine of most good hoops programs.
This July’s live recruiting period/ evaluation period is one more chance to make a strong impression on top-level players who can carry the Red Storm name.
From July 11-15, July 18-22, and July 25-29, Chris Mullin and his assistants can travel the country to evaluate talent in person. More importantly, they can appear at the games of players they hope to convince to come to campus -- letting those players know that they are so important to the staff that they would drop all other things to watch them play in a hot, sweaty gym.
St. John’s assistant Matt Abdelmassih even traveled to Argentina to see Andre Curbelo play with Puerto Rico.
That’s love right there, folks.
Zach Braziller has the details on where the coaches will be.
St. John's coach Chris Mullin will begin live period at Peach Jam Wednesday, then move over to Under Armour event and finish up at Adidas Gauntlet Saturday and Sunday. #sjubb targets at all three.— Zach Braziller (@NYPost_Brazille) July 10, 2018
St. John's assistant Matt Abdelmassih and Greg St. Jean will rotate at Peach Jam, Adidas and Under Armour events. Luca Virgilio will also be on road this week in place of Mitch Richmond. #sjubb— Zach Braziller (@NYPost_Brazille) July 10, 2018
St. John’s will be looking at some of these players below, and we will update the Rumble with other players that the Johnnies indicate interest in.
On the Under Armour circuit, Team Rio will be the main follow for the staff, with 6’10” Aidan Igiehon, 6’3” Jalen Gaffney and 6’6” Scottie Lewis as high-level talents that the staff has been recruiting for years.
New Heights will also receive ample attention, with shooting guard Lester Quinones, a 6’5” sniper from New Jersey, and 6’9” five-star forward Precious Achiuwa in the fold. RJ Davis, a top 2020 target, also plays for New Heights.
At Adidas Gauntlet starting on Thursday, the NY Jayhawks will get on the court featuring rising 6’6” talent Chris Ledlum of Staten Island and 6’1” Puerto Rican guard Andre Curbelo, fresh off of an eye-opening performance in Argentina in the FIBA U-17 World Cup.
Al-Amir Dawes, a 2019 6’3” guard who has logged 17 points and four assists per game in Nike EYBL play, has earned an offer from St. John’s. He was listed on the All-EYBL Third Team.
While Jalen Lecque was an early target, 6’11” Kofi Cockburn has energed as an interesting, game changing big man who could take the train and the bus from his school to St. John’s. He has averaged 16 points and 11 rebounds in EYBL play. He was listed on the All-EYBL Third Team.
Additionally, 2020 guard Nate Tabor has also caught the staff’s eyes. Tabor is a 6’5” guard from Sacred Heart in Connecticut (like Mustapha Heron) who is a physical slasher.
2020 point guard Posh Alexander is an undersized guard with athleticism and shot-making skill from Our Savior New American.
Mac Irvin Fire
Meanwhile, in the Peach Invitational (for the teams that did not win enough to make the Peach Jam), Kahlil Whitney may get some love from St. John’s, though Duke has come calling for him. Duke will watch Whitney, who also has heavy interest from Illinois; Duke has not yet offered.
Las Vegas Prospects
Jeron Artest -- yes, the son of Ron Artest, now known as Metta World Peace -- will run with the Las Vegas Prospects team. From Arizona, Jeron is a a 6’3” guard known to be a heady player, but hasn’t garnered serious high-major attention yet.