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St. John's targets top California guard, plus other recruiting notes

St. John's targets top-50 guard Tyler Dorsey.

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Lavin is known as a world traveler when it comes to assembling the most competitive team. During his tenure at St. John’s, Lavin has recruited players from Nigeria, France, and the Dominican Republic.  More recently, Lavin has been spotted traveling to Bosnia and Herzegovina to recruit a promising prospect.

So it should not surprise anyone that Lavin has now set his sights on one of California’s most intriguing prospects, guard Tyler Dorsey.

Dorsey is a 6’4" guard from Los Angeles, a city known for producing premier basketball talent. He has spent the last three years at St. John Bosco High School, dominating California high school basketball. Last season, Dorsey led his team to a state title while averaging 21.4 points per game, 6.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game.

However, Dorsey is not spending his senior year at St. John Bosco; he announced that he will finish out his high school career at Maranatha High in Pasadena. In an interview with the Long Beach Press-Telegram, Dorsey cites the proximity to his home as the main reason for the transfer.

"I was born and raised in Pasadena, so I wanted to come back to my home city and put on a show," Dorsey said.

California is not the only place where Dorsey has dominated on the hardwood. He has also made a name for himself on the AAU circuit.

This summer, Dorsey and his Belmont Shore team have played in many competitive tournaments including the Pangos Summer Sweet 16 and the Las Vegas Fab 48.  Dorsey has flourished playing against some of the best young talent in the country. Dorsey especially impressed scouts and coaches in a game this week against top prospect PJ Dozier. He led his team to victory and hit two clutch free throws in crunch time. Dorsey has had his struggles this summer, but overall he has looked very impressive.

Scouting Tyler Dorsey

According to ESPN, Dorsey is the 24th best player in the class of 2015. Many teams are attracted to Dorsey not just because of his lethal shooting, but also because of his athleticism. This athleticism makes it easy for Dorsey to rebound, disrupt passing lanes, and score in transition.

Dorsey still has many areas he must improve in. He must add bulk onto his thin frame or he will have problems taking contact at the next level. In addition, there has been a lot of debate as to whether Dorsey is a point guard or a shooting guard. Dorsey’s score-first mentality has led many scouts to believe that he is a shooting guard.

Dorsey sees the situation differently.

He believes that he has the skills to be a point guard at the next level and in the NBA, making his point clear in an interview with CBS. "I feel like that's my best position at the next level," he said. "I have to build those skills and attributes to be able to play that in the NBA. You see the guards in the NBA, most of them are score-first, but also can make the right basketball play. Russell [Westbrook], Damian Lillard. I call them lead guards. That's probably my best position." Dorsey said.

Whether they play him at the one or the two, it appears that the team that gets Dorsey is definitely getting a talent.

The competition

In the running for Dorsey are UCLA, USC, UConn, Louisville, St. John’s, Arizona St., and Arizona.

Dorsey originally committed to Arizona, but later decommitted from the school in June. In a letter, he expressed a desire to further explore his options. The race to recruit Dorsey still appears to be wide open.

UCLA looks like a strong option for Dorsey. They are close to his home and have a track record for producing top NBA guards - Jrue Holiday, Russell Westbrook, Darren Collison, Jordan Farmar - under previous coach Ben Howland, and NBA draftees Zach Lavine and Kyle Anderson. However, they are already stacked at the guard position, with Bryce Alford, Isaac Hamilton, and Norman Powell.

St. John’s can offer Dorsey immediate playing time since D`Angelo Harrison, Sir`Dominic Pointer and Phil Greene are graduating, with Rysheed Jordan possibly looking to go pro as well. Another factor that can help St. John’s chances are Steve Lavin’s deep ties to California from his years coaching at UCLA.

Reeling in Dorsey will be no easy task for the Red Storm staff, but if they manage to pull it off, St. John’s fans will have a reason to be excited.

Tyler Dorsey highlights


- Cheick Diallo has scheduled a visit to St. John's on October 18 according to 247sports' Andrew Slater.

- According to, Isaiah Briscoe’s decision will come down to Arizona and St. John’s.

- According to Adam Zagoria of Steve Lavin was in Atlantic City on Wednesday watching Isaiah Briscoe. On Thursday he was in Louisville watching Malik Beasley. This weekend Coach Lavin is expected to be attending the FAB 48 tournament in Las Vegas.