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Adonis Delarosa ineligible, may not meet NCAA academic requirements

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St. John's loses another big man. But for how long?

Wendell Cruz

Just when he made his presence felt and lit candles of hope, Adonis Delarosa is sidelined for what looks like the year.

Adonis Delarosa will not play at least this semester this year, having been found academically ineligible.

Like Amir Garrett, Norvel Pelle, Jakarr SampsonOrlando Sanchez and Keith Thomas before him, Adonis Delarosa's academics aren't quite where they need to be for Division I play, a huge blow to the Red Storm this year, already thin up front.

Delarosa, the Red Storm's biggest recruit - literally - this offseason, was a late-period signee from Christ The King known for his size and his need for conditioning.

Delarosa played in only one exhibition game, sitting out as a message from head coach Steve Lavin about his conditioning.

When he got on the court, Delarosa looked to be a player with potential. He wasn't particularly quick or fast up the court, but he showed an ability to be found in space, used his size against the small Aquinas front line to grab rebounds, and showed a soft touch around the hoop and at the free throw line.

Commenting on Delarosa's appearance, Lavin said "Adonis made some progress and took a step in the right direction this week in practice and also in the game today. He saw the results of his preparation in practices carrying over."

The Red Storm, already without coveted rebounder Keith Thomas this season, will need to get great interior contributions from not just Chris Obekpa, but from redshirted sophomore Christian Jones, scrappy freshman Amar Alibegovic, Adonis' brother Joey Delarosa (in December) and the core of guards.

It is a surprise to see an NCAA ineligibility ruling this late, on the eve of St. John's regular season opener. As for the why this keeps happening - the question so many ask - it has to be noted that Steve Lavin and his staff have chased talent even when other schools have backed off.

Despite the bumps with some players, it has worked out with others currently on the roster who were said to be eligibility risks.

Still, the tumult is not a great result for the roster, thinning by the week.