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Jaquan Sanders verbally commits to St. John’s

A look at highlights of scoring guard Sanders, the significance of his commitment, and what the future could look like.

New to the huddle will be Posh Alexander’s friend and HS teammate.
Brenden Willsch

Any lingering doubts about whether Mike Anderson can recruit in the New York metro area have been thoroughly dashed, as the Red Storm picked up a highly sought-after target in Queens native Jaquan Sanders.

On Tuesday night, the Far Rockaway-bred Sanders verbally committed to play for St. John’s. The 6’3” guard is ranked as the 153rd best recruit in the 2022 class and the best recruit out of New York state in 247Sports’s Composite recruiting system.

Mike Anderson tapped into a familiar recruiting pipeline once again. Sanders plays high school ball at Our Savior Lutheran, the same high school Posh Alexander and Dylan Addae-Wusu attended.

In 19 games played in his junior year, Sanders averaged 19.1 points per game and logged a season-high 31 point performance against Balboa City School from San Francisco, California.

The Red Storm were entrenched in a recruiting battle with Seton Hall to get Jaquan Sanders. The 3-star guard was leaning towards crossing the Hudson River and playing for Kevin Willard’s Pirates as recently as June, but ultimately opted to stay home and play with two of his former high school teammates once again.

Sanders will join 4-star guard A.J. Storr and unranked Kolby King in a St. John’s recruiting class that is ranked 23rd best in the country in 247Sports’s recruiting system. If this ranking holds, this will be the Red Storm’s first top-25 recruiting class since 2016 when Shamorie Ponds committed to the Johnnies.

When Jaquan Sanders arrives on campus next fall, Mike Anderson will get a quick-triggered deep range threat who can create his own shot off the dribble and set up good scoring chances for his teammates. His highlight reel offers a glimpse into what an offense with Jaquan Sanders and his old high school teammates can look like.

Jaquan Sanders Highlights

Shooting highlights

Playmaking skills and defense

Barring any transfers at the guard, Sanders will be in a very competitive backcourt from day one. Posh Alexander and Dylan Addae-Wusu will be juniors next season, joined by senior guard Montez Mathis, along with Rafael Pinzon (who will be a sophomore) and incoming guards Kolby King and A.J. Storr. There should be enough depth at the guard position to keep the high-pressure defense consistent for all fourty minutes of a game.

His offensive upside is tantalizing enough to give him enough playing time to establish himself as a freshman and his shiftiness with the ball in his hand can translate to Mike Anderson’s frenetic transition-heavy system.

The team could also return forwards Aaron Wheeler, Esahia Nywie and Joel Soriano and possibly even Julian Champagnie (though his pro-level skill and reputation will make a second foray into the NBA draft process a mere formality). Also coming back next season will be forwards O’Mar Stanley and Drissa Traore.

If Champagnie does leave after this year, the Red Storm will have one additional scholarship to give.

St. John’s, under previous coaches, had lost out on a number of solid NYC recruits to Seton Hall. With trust from local coaches and players, and with inroads made with local programs, St. John’s looks to be building locally under Mike Anderson.