Tag:St. John's
Posted on: August 20, 2011 5:39 pm

St. John's gets commitment from Darrick Wood

By Jeff Borzello

After hanging slightly below the radar for most of the past year, Darrick Wood burst onto the scene with several high-scoring outings in the spring with the NJ Playaz.

On Saturday, Wood capped off a successful spring and summer by committing to St. John’s.

“St. John’s seemed perfect for me,” Wood told CBSSports.com. “Tough basketball is what I’m all about and I think they will make history in the Big East. It’s something I wanted to be a part of.”

Wood is a 6-foot-5 shooting guard who can really fill it up. While he needs to add bulk and muscle, Wood is able to score effectively around the rim because of his length and athleticism. He has deep range on his jumper and is efficient with his pull-up jumper.

The NIA Prep (N.J.) product is the second pledge in the Red Storm’s 2012 recruiting class, joining Louisiana forward Ricardo Gathers. 

Posted on: August 16, 2011 1:07 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 1:09 pm

Joel James not content with recruitment just yet


By Jeff Borzello

Joel James is one of the most sought-after big men in the class of 2012. The massive senior is ranked at No. 54 overall and as the No. 12 center in CBSSports.com’s rankings.

James holds offers from Florida, Florida State, UCLA, Georgetown, Maryland and St. John’s.

Plenty of reasons to be happy, certainly.

But one school is showing interest and hasn’t offered just yet: North Carolina.

“I don’t know why they haven’t,” James said. “I’m starting to get tired of waiting. If they want me, offer. If they don’t, just tell me and let me move on with my choices. They haven’t said anything.”

The Tar Heels began pursuing James after stellar play during the spring circuit. They weren’t the only ones – his upside makes him attractive to many schools. James is a mammoth post player who runs the floor and moves around without the ball effectively.  He uses his size and strength to overpower opponents in the lane and doesn’t shy away from contact.

Many coaches were hoping to get a look at him during the second half of July after another impressive performance at the Adidas Invitational. Unfortunately for them, James did not suit up with the Florida Rams at the Adidas Super 64 – or any team, for that matter.

“As you could see, the team I was on wasn’t fitting me,” James said. “They were not passing the ball inside. So I felt I was wasting my time playing with them.”

Instead of playing on the AAU circuit during the latter part of July, the 6-foot-10 big man returned home to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and worked out on his own at the gym and on the basketball court.

That could end up being a smart decision down the road – if James improves his conditioning, his upside is through the roof.

By then, we expect James will be very content with the status of his recruiting.

Photo: Scout.com

Posted on: August 12, 2011 1:31 pm
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Posted on: July 30, 2011 4:54 pm

St. John's adds forward Ricardo Gathers

By Jeff Borzello

After adding nine recruits to the program in 2010-11, St. John’s knew it would have a more relaxed recruiting period this summer.

On Saturday, Steve Lavin picked up his first recruit for 2012, as Louisiana forward Ricardo Gathers popped for the Red Storm.

The news was first reported by Paul Biancardi of ESPN.com, and later confirmed by multiple sources to CBSSports.com

Gathers, a 6-foot-7 forward from Riverside Academy (La.), also had Texas, LSU and Arizona heavily involved down the stretch. He is a powerful player who has an NFL body and dominates the glass at both ends of the floor. Gathers might be faster end-to-end than anyone in the country, enabling him to be a menace in transition.

With all the wings St. John’s added in 2011, Gathers will be a nice addition up front for the Red Storm in two years.

Posted on: June 29, 2011 4:04 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2011 4:18 pm

Versatile Kyle Anderson talks top five


By Jeff Borzello

Normally, when scouts who have watched a player for three or four years still can’t figure out his position, it’s a bad thing.

In the case of Kyle Anderson, it’s just another sign of his versatility.

Anderson, a 6-foot-8 St. Anthony product (N.J), has the vision and passing ability of a point guard; the scoring prowess of a wing; and the size, finishing and rebounding skills of a power forward.

Ask Anderson, though, and he knows which position he wants to play at the next level.

“Point guard,” he said. “It’s the position I’m most comfortable at.”

At the NBPA Top 100 camp two weeks ago, Anderson played that position for the majority of the event.

“I’m just trying to be unselfish, play the point guard role,” he said.

Anderson has already made plenty of advancements in the recruiting process, trimming his list to five schools earlier this spring: Georgetown, Florida, Seton Hall, St. John’s and UCLA.

His potential to be a match-up problem and his passing ability would be a perfect fit for Georgetown.

“John Thompson III is a great coach, they run the Princeton offense,” Anderson said.

He also likes the way Florida head coach Billy Donovan makes players better during their time in Gainesville.

“Coach Donovan is great with player development,” Anderson said.

While Seton Hall might seem like it doesn’t belong in the same breath with the other programs, its proximity to Anderson’s Fairlawn, N.J., home could play a factor.

“It’s the hometown school, and all the guys play hard,” he said.

St. John’s emerged on the radar of several high-major prospects in the last year, as head coach Steve Lavin reeled in a nine-person class that included six players ranked in the top 100.

Anderson is impressed by the talent on the Red Storm’s roster.

“I like Coach Lavin, I like the class he has coming in,” he said.

Across the country sits UCLA, where Ben Howland has had a steady stream of pro point guards run through his program.

“Coach Howland puts point guards in the NBA,” Anderson said. “I think there’s five in the NBA right now.”

With most of the recruiting process behind him, the nation’s most versatile player is still not sure when exactly he wants to commit.

“No timetable,” Anderson said. “But before the season.”

Photo: NJ.com

Posted on: June 15, 2011 9:48 am
Edited on: June 15, 2011 11:13 am

Shane Rector increases his national attention


By Jeff Borzello

BRONX, N.Y. – If going perfect from the field and scoring 30 points in a game doesn’t draw attention, it remains to be seen what else Shane Rector can do to put himself on the map.

Last weekend at the Rumble in the Bronx, Rector impressed onlookers with consistent offense, constantly beating defenders off the bounce and finishing at the rim. He is very quick with the dribble and has a great first step. Rector is smooth when driving the lane and even showed a mid-range jumper.

“I think I’m a good player, I had a good game,” Rector said. “I guess you could say I was feeling it.”

The 6-foot-1 point guard from St. Raymond’s (N.Y.) is quickly rising in metro-area circles, but is virtually unknown by recruitniks nationally.

Colleges certainly know who Rector is, though.

The 2013 prospect listed Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Arizona, Villanova, Rutgers and St. John’s, although none of those schools have extended an offer yet.

“I just want to go to a school that’s going to put the ball in my hands as a freshman, let me run the team,” Rector said.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com