Tag:St. John's
Posted on: February 6, 2012 7:29 pm

Ricardo Gathers pledges to Baylor

By Jeff Borzello

It looks like Scott Drew has locked up yet another top-10 recruiting class. He was on the verge of breaking into that vaunted group, but Monday cemented Baylor’s position.

Ricardo Gathers, a former St. John’s commit, made his pledge to the Bears.

The news was first reported by Dave Telep of ESPN.com, and confirmed to CBSSports.com by Greg Gathers, Ricardo’s brother.

Gathers is a 6-foot-7 forward from Riverside Academy (La.) and one of the best rebounders in the entire class. He’s a physical specimen who gets up and down the floor very quickly with his short strides and quick burst of speed. Gathers is extremely strong and powerful, and his NFL body enables him to dominate the glass at both ends of the floor. His speed also makes him a menace in transition, while his relentlessness at both ends earns him plenty of trips to the foul line.

Gathers averaged 20.2 points and 12.0 rebounds during Nike’s EYBL competition last summer, culminating with a 29-point, 20-rebound performance against Boo Williams at the Peach Jam.

He said last month that Florida and North Carolina State were among his favorites, along with Baylor and St. John’s. Gathers joins Isaiah Austin, L.J. Rose and Chad Rykhoek in Baylor’s 2012 recruiting class.

Posted on: January 18, 2012 1:38 pm

Kuran Iverson hearing from plenty of suitors

By Jeff Borzello

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Kuran Iverson has been one of the most hyped players in the class of 2013 for several years. His 6-foot-9 size and versatile skill set have had onlookers drooling over his potential.

Over the summer, though, he put on pounds and it slowed him down. To his credit, though, he realized it and has made adjustments.

“I carried a lot of weight and it started to hurt my knees,” Iverson said. “So I cut down on my eating, worked out more.”

Iverson looked significantly slimmer over the weekend at the Hoophall Classic, but he struggled against DeMatha Catholic’s BeeJay Anya due to Anya’s size and length inside. Iverson finished with four points and three rebounds, hampered by foul trouble the entire game.

The Northwest Catholic (Conn.) prospect hopes to be a small forward at the next level. Which school he ends up at is still up for grabs.

So far, he is hearing from Connecticut, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Rutgers, St. John’s, Oklahoma and Florida. Iverson wants to visit North Carolina, Florida and Rutgers. He has been to Connecticut, and would like to take another trip. The Huskies are one of the schools standing out to him right now.

Kentucky is another school getting plenty of play with Iverson. Head coach John Calipari went to one of his games at Northwest Catholic, and the Wildcats are showing interest. They have not yet offered, but they would move into the forefront of his recruitment should they extend a scholarship.

Iverson is not ready to make a decision just yet.

“I’m not thinking about it until after the season,” he said.

Photo: Southington Sports

Posted on: January 17, 2012 2:20 pm

Ricardo Gathers has four favorites

By Jeff Borzello

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Since Ricardo Gathers decommitted from St. John’s in early November, several new schools have tried to get involved in his recruitment.

While he doesn’t seem to be in a rush to finish the process, Gathers has shed some light on his suitors.

After his Riverside (La.) team lost to Gonzaga (D.C.) on Saturday at the Hoophall Classic, the No. 52-ranked player in the class of 2012 said he had been hearing from Baylor, LSU, St. John’s, California, North Carolina State and Florida.

His four favorites are: Baylor, St. John’s, Florida and North Carolina State.

The Red Storm remain in the mix despite parting ways two months ago.

“I like their style of play,” the 6-foot-8 power forward said. “How they go so hard.”

Two schools mentioned recently with Gathers are Kentucky and Duke, but he said neither is showing consistent interest.

Duke contacted him once. “Not frequently,” he said.

As for Kentucky, head coach John Calipari came to one game, but the Wildcats have yet to contact him directly or offer him a scholarship.

Gathers plans to make a decision after the season, but he wants to take trips to North Carolina State, Duke, Florida and Baylor before announcing his final commitment.

Photo: New Orleans Times-Picayune

Posted on: January 5, 2012 5:52 pm

St. John's loses another: Darrick Wood decommits

By Jeff Borzello

St. John’s continues to take hits.

After losing two members of its vaunted recruiting class from 2011, the Red Storm also received a decommitment from top-50 2012 prospect Ricardo Gathers. Now, both 2012 commits are gone.

Darrick Wood, a 6-foot-5 guard from Washington D.C., rescinded his pledge to St. John’s on Thursday.

“I just wanted to open up my recruitment,” Wood told CBSSports.com. “Weigh my options a little more before the spring hits.”

However, St. John’s remains as his favorite.

“I still consider STJ my top school,” Wood said.

While there are rumors about potential NCAA clearinghouse issues with Wood, he maintains his academics are in good shape. He is currently enrolled at Bridgton Academy in Maine.

When Wood committed to St. John’s, he also considered Oklahoma State, USC, Virginia Tech and South Florida.

Posted on: November 20, 2011 2:20 pm
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Posted on: September 30, 2011 10:56 am
Edited on: September 30, 2011 11:14 am

Ishmail Wainright happy with move to Montrose

By Jeff Borzello

When Ishmail Wainright made the move from Raytown South (Mo.) to Montrose Christian (Md.), a lot of things changed.

Wainright was suddenly nearly 1,000 miles from home, with new friends, new teammates, new style of play and more pressure. But the biggest difference for Wainright?

“The weather,” he said. “It rains too much.”

Not surprisingly, Wainright is extremely happy with his decision to leave home and go to the vaunted private school near Washington D.C.

“This was one of the best moves by far,” he said. “The only move, really. It’s a great education.”

Although the season has not yet started, Wainright has already noticed a difference in the attendance at the preseason workouts. The door leading to the gym is a revolving door of high-major head coaches and some of the best recruiters in the country.

UCLA, Texas, Kansas State, Alabama, Providence, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, UMKC, Georgetown, Maryland, Villanova have all stopped by. St. John’s, Texas A&M, Baylor and Missouri were there on Wednesday. Louisville is expected to come soon, while Memphis set up a date to check out Wainright as well.

“I didn’t know it was going to be like this,” Wainright said. “I was just thinking in my head, ‘I don’t know who is going to see me, I don’t know who likes my game.’

“When I got there, coach [Stu] Vetter sat me down and said, ‘Now you know you will be hearing from coaches that you’ve never heard from, right?’ I just giggled. I thought he was playing, but it was for real.”

Wainright has had an interesting recruitment so far. He committed to Missouri in May, becoming new head coach Frank Haith’s first big-time recruit since taking over the Tigers. In late June, though, but suddenly decommitted and reopened his process.

After a few underwhelming performances with Memphis YOMCA on the Nike AAU circuit in the spring, Wainright won back his reputation with the KC 76ers in Las Vegas. He led his team to a surprising Fab 48 title, outplaying No. 1 prospect Jabari Parker in a head-to-head battle.

Wainright currently holds offers from Syracuse, Baylor, Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Texas, Texas A&M, Colorado, St. John’s, UMKC, Florida, Nebraska and Louisville.

While he doesn’t have any specific visits planned, he wants to attend Louisville’s Midnight Madness festivities.

“I don’t have [a favorite] right now,” Wainright said.

Wainright, a 6-foot-5 small forward, is ranked as a five-star prospect in CBSSports.com’s Top 100 rankings for 2013. He is No. 17 in the country.

Photo: STLToday

Posted on: September 20, 2011 6:14 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2011 6:14 pm

JaKarr Sampson decommits from St. John's

By Jeff Borzello

The first casualty of St. John’s monster nine-man class is now official.

Jakarr Sampson has decommitted from St. John’s and reopened his recruitment, Don Anderson, Sampson’s former AAU coach, told CBSSports.com.

Sampson was one of three Red Storm freshmen ruled ineligible by the NCAA for the first semester. While Norvel Pelle and Amir Garrett are planning to take classes in order to become eligible for the second semester, Sampson went back to Brewster Academy (N.H.).

“[He] has decided to return to Brewster Academy as a post-grad student and to further his education to complete his academic requirement to attend college academically,” Anderson told CBSSports.com on Saturday.

When Sampson, a 6-foot-7 forward, originally committed to St. John’s, he chose the Red Storm over Tennessee, Baylor and Louisville. He was ranked in the top 40 by most recruiting outlets.

Posted on: September 20, 2011 10:44 am
Edited on: September 20, 2011 10:53 am

What's next for Kyle Anderson's five finalists?

By Jeff Borzello

The dust is finally settling from Kyle Anderson’s announcement that he would be going across the country and playing for UCLA.

People are saying the Pac-12 is back and UCLA is a potential Final Four threat in 2012-13, while Seton Hall fans are devastated. As one Seton Hall blogger tweeted, “Feeling like Cleveland after the Decision.”

In recruiting, though, there’s always another player, another target, another must-have prospect on the horizon. Whether it’s UCLA building off Anderson’s commitment or Seton Hall bouncing back from its disappointment, each of the five teams in the Anderson sweepstakes – Florida, Georgetown, St. John’s are the other three – have already moved on from last night’s festivities.

Where are they turning?

UCLA: The Bruins could be on the verge of rivaling Arizona for the top recruiting class in the country. With Anderson, Dominic Artis and Jordan Adams already in the fold, Ben Howland has a good young perimeter group. What would take this team to the next level is Shabazz Muhammad, the No. 1 prospect in the country and the crown jewel of the class. UCLA has long been considered a favorite for his services, while rumors behind the scenes of a Kyle Anderson-Shabazz Muhammad package deal have picked up in recent weeks. UCLA is also squarely in the mix for either Shaq Goodwin or Tony Parker down low. Both are five-star prospects and are considering the Bruins. If Howland can get Muhammad and one of the two big men, he’ll have the top class in the country.

Seton Hall: To me, the most important for the Pirates is not to dwell on the disappointment and continue to go after five-star players. Sure, Anderson was a unique case in that he was from Seton Hall’s backyard, but the idea is the same: the Pirates are in an arms race locally with St. John’s and Rutgers, and they need to keep up. As I tweeted yesterday, Seton Hall feels pretty confident about New York prospects Daniel Dingle, Kareem Canty and Jevon Thomas. The Pirates need to lock down their area by getting a few local kids every year, and then still go after top-100 guys in other regions. Rutgers and St. John’s have started doing it the past few years; Seton Hall has to keep up. 

Florida: The Gators made a late run in the Anderson sweepstakes, but ultimately fell short. Billy Donovan’s troops have plenty of perimeter talent stockpiled for 2012-13, with juniors Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario, freshman Brad Beal and three guard commitments, led by talented point guard Braxton Ogbueze. If no players leave school early after the upcoming season, the Gators could be out of scholarships. With that said, Florida is still in the mix for several frontcourt prospects. The Gators are on the final lists of Mitch McGary, Willie Cauley, Anthony Bennett, Alex Poythress, Robert Carter, Brice Johnson and T.J. Warren – all top-40 frontcourt players. Landing just one would provide great balance to the Gators’ class.

St. John’s: Forgive the Red Storm if they weren’t completely focused on recruiting over the past week. Three incoming freshmen – Norvel Pelle, Amir Garrett and Jakarr Sampson – were ruled ineligible for the first semester. Pelle and Garrett are hoping to enroll during the second semester, while Sampson went back to Brewster Academy. If Sampson decides to return to St. John’s, the Red Storm will likely have one scholarship available for 2012-13. Ricardo Gathers will help up front, but Steve Lavin could use more help down low. Chris Obekpa, who plays at Our Savior New American (N.Y.), rose up the charts in the summer and could be someone the Red Storm target.

Georgetown: Due to the Hoyas’ offensive system, Anderson would have been a great fit in D.C. However, without him, John Thompson III will move on. The Hoyas only have one commitment for 2012 – big man Brandon Bolden – but they are still hunting for prospects. They are still in the mix for T.J. Warren, Tony Parker, D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Robert Upshaw and others. Ideally, they will come away with a guard and a frontcourt player. Backcourt depth for the Hoyas in 2012-13 is shallow, so a good scoring guard (Smith-Rivera fits the bill) could be a priority. Moreover, with all the frontcourt talent left on board, the Hoyas could stockpile another big man.

Photo: St. Anthony

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