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Will Keith Thomas, a crucial piece to the Red Storm frontcourt, be eligible for St. John's this season?

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As a former Westchester Community College player, the JUCO rebounding standout may have his transcript under scrutiny after transcript fraud was revealed with other players.

by Wendell Cruz

As mentioned in Kenneth Garner's recruiting update piece, the basketball program of Westchester Community College is currently embroiled in a transcript scandal, after an assistant coach was fired on suspicion of transcript fraud and a forged signature for a pair of area players.

Though noted yesterday because of St. John's interest in 2015 forward Luis Montero, there is reason to keep an eye on the situation because of current forward Keith Thomas, who attended Westchester Community College (WCC) last season.

Assistant coach Richard Fields of WCC was fired after admitting he provided a phony transcript for a player who was attending Florida A&M University; that player and another were removed from the Rattlers' roster. The New York State's Office of the Inspector General is investigating, according to the Journal-News.

And the Journal News adds:

St. John's athletics officials would not say whether they reviewed Thomas' transcript, but said he remains on the roster. Thomas, originally from Mount Vernon, was a star player for Yorktown High School his junior year but was dismissed from the team his senior year after a felony assault charge.

Hennessey said he did not know when WCC's transcript review would be completed.

This is not yet cause for alarm, though St. John's fans know that eligibility rulings can take some time - Orlando Sanchez sat for almost a year while the program and the NCAA argued, while Marc-Antoine Bourgault was not eligible until mid-November of his first year.

Current St. John's forward Keith Thomas is a rebounding talent, one who can change a weakness of the Red Storm into a strength.

While Adonis Delarosa and Amar Alibegovic bring size and Christian Jones brings athleticism, none bring the impressive junior college track record of Keith Thomas, the leading rebounder in the JUCO ranks last season.

If St. John's has a worry about the investigation at all, the team will likely rest Thomas while WCC digs in, even if St. John's is sure Thomas will be cleared.

Currently, the NY Daily News says St. John's will likely not have Keith Thomas, while Adam Zagoria (Zagsblog) and Zach Braziller (NY Post) refute that finality.

If St. John's is without Keith Thomas, how does that revise your hopes/ predictions for the Red Storm?