Coach Lavin has had success in finding key contributors in the junior college ranks through his five year tenure, including Orlando Sanchez and God`sgift Achiuwa, and will welcome another JUCO transfer to their roster in Keith Thomas, a forward from Westchester Community College.
Now, with a number of slots to fill, the coaching staff has shifted their focus to Tanksley Efianayi, a 6’5" wing who plays at Daytona State Community College.
Efianayi, who is originally from the east coast, made a name for himself in his forst year on the junior college circuit. In his first season at Daytona State, he averaged 15 points, 6 rebounds, and led his team to an impressive 24-6 record in the Mid-Florida Conference. In addition, he received both All-Mid-Florida Conference and All-Region honors for his superb play.
Coming into the season, Efianayi had not received any attention from D-I coaches, but after an impressive season and a productive summer, Efianayi has suddenly received offers from many major college programs.
Evaluating Tanksley Efianayi
Coaches are intrigued by Efianayi’s diverse skill set. Efianayi is a big guard who coaches believe can defend both wing positions at the D-I level.
On the offensive side of the ball, Efianayi does most of his work at the rim, and his strength lets him drive to the rim and absorb contact for possible three point plays. He also has the ability to knock down the mid-range shot, although his jump shot remains a work in progress.
There are definitely areas in which Efianayi can improve. In his first season at Daytona State he only managed to shoot 31% from the 3-point line, a below average percentage for players at his position. Efianayi also needs to work on his court vision, as his assist total was below one per game.
Recruiting competition: high majors pursuing Efianayi
There are a lot of schools who would love to have Efianayi on their team.
He has received offers St. Johns, Arizona State, Iowa State, Maryland, Alabama, Texas Tech and Cincinnati.
His coach, Ryan Ridder, has already announced that the talented guard will visit St. John’s and Arizona State in September. However, he said those are not the only schools on the Efianayi’s list. In an interview with SNY, Ridder said that Efianayi’s recruitment is still wide open, but acknowledged that St. John’s and Arizona State have given his guard a lot of attention.
"Coach [Steve] Lavin and Coach [Herb] Sendek, their assistants have done a really good job recruiting him and have built the best relationships. So he’s going to visit those two, I’m not sure when he’s going to make his decision, fall or spring."
Where Efianayi would fit on St. John's
Efianayi would obviously be a huge pickup for St. John’s, especially after the Johnnies missed out on Malik Beasley, who chose to commit to Florida State recently.
St. John’s has a huge hole to fill at the guard position after this season since many of their guards and wings - including Sir`Dominic Pointer - are graduating after this season. While the staff is pursuing high-end players such as Cheick Diallo and Isaiah Briscoe, and is in competitive positions with both, there are no players yet committed in the 2015 class.
On the upside for St. John's fans - Efianayi is originally from the East coast and Coach Ridder admits that Efianayi has thought about playing at the Garden.
"Tank is originally from the Northeast," Ridder said to SNY, "born in Connecticut, so to get the opportunity to play for a coach of Coach Lavin’s pedigree and then being able to play in the Garden, the relationship he’s developed with those coaches is at the highest level."