In the next couple of months, high school players will narrow down their college lists and decide where they will suit up for fall 2015 while college coaches and fans stress those decisions. St. John’s already experienced the bitter taste of disappointment this recruiting cycle when top guard Donovan Mitchell eliminated St. John’s from his college list.
Hope is not lost. St. John’s fans can breathe a sigh of relief, as dynamic Georgia scoring guard Malik Beasley cut down his list to eight schools and St. John’s is still standing in the list.
Fans shouldn't pop the champagne just yet, but Beasley's interest is something to be excited about... along with his scheduled unofficial visit this weekend.
Malik Beasley's tremendous summer
Beasley is a 6’4" guard who is ranked 51st in the class of 2015 according to ESPN.com. The Georgian averaged 19 points and eight rebounds while leading St. Francis (Alpharetta, GA) to a 24-7 record and a state title.
He has been equally as effective facing top competition on the AAU circuit this summer. As a member of the Georgia Stars, Beasley showcased his skills in many prestigious events including the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions, where Beasley led his team to the elite eight before falling to Jawun Evans and SC Raptors Elite.
He also was afforded the opportunity of attending the Lebron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas. Against the best players in the country, Beasley managed to attract attention with his scoring ability and strength. Even more impressive was his willingness to guard Lebron James at the camp.
Continuing his active summer, New Yorkers will get an opportunity to see Beasley this weekend at the Big Strick Classic in the Bronx.
Scouting Malik Beasley
To say that Malik Beasley can score is an understatement. This young prospect can find the net from virtually anywhere on the floor. He can sink the three, knock down the mid range shot, and even can create opportunities for himself off the dribble.
However, Beasley is more than just a scorer.
Beasley has the physical strength to guard both guard positions and possibly the small forwards on the college level. He is not a finished product and definitely has areas where he can improve. He must become a better ball handler and a better passer.
In an interview with NBCSports.com's College Basketball Talk, Beasley said that ball handling and passing were areas he would work to improve in. "Also ball-handling, so I can play some point guard [in addition to] the two," Beasley said.
This summer, Malik Beasley has received interest from almost every top flight program imaginable, and has chosen to focus on VCU, Connecticut, Oregon, Florida State, Georgia, UCLA and Wake Forest. Local schools Georgia and Georgia Tech have been all over Beasley (even if Tech didn't make his list after Beasley's unofficial visit.
St. John’s fans still have a reason to be optimistic. There are rumors circulating that Beasley will visit St. John's this weekend since he is already in town for the NY Gauchos annual Big Strick tournament. Beasley has had nothing but nice things to say about St. John’s and Steve Lavin. In an interview with SNY.tv Beasley praised the university and its basketball coach.
"Coach Lavin is a good coach," Beasley said. "They have a great program, especially playing at Madison Square Garden, that’s always been my dream to play in the NBA. It’s a great school."
Another possible factor to consider is that Beasley’s father and mother are professional actors. It may be beneficial for both parents and son to move to New York, a city that houses some of the bigger players in the entertainment industry. And St. John's staff is no stranger to the acting life - with Steve Lavin's wife, assistant Rico Hines' wife, and Jim Whitesell's family all involved in Hollywood.
St. John’s will have a need at the guard position after this year, allowing a player like Beasley a great deal of available immediate playing time. Beasley’s shooting ability would fill a scoring hole, bringing an explosive shooter into the mix.