Thomas Visiting St. John’s, Cunningham Enjoys Visit

St. John’s continues to work to add frontcourt players for 2014.

Keith Thomas, a 6-foot-8 forward from Westchester (N.Y.) Community College, is on his official visit Monday-Tuesday and will then head to South Florida Wednesday-Thursday and Miami May 1-2.

WCC coach Tyrone Mushatt is an old friend of new USF coach Orlando Antigua.

Meantime, 6-7 Chicago Morgan Park forward Josh Cunningham enjoyed his weekend visit to the Queens school.

Nick Irvin, Cunningham’s coach, told Zach Braziller of the New York Post that the visit went “really good. He liked it.”

Cunningham is due to announce this week and is considering Bradley, among others.

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Report: Duke-St. John’s to Resume Rivalry

Duke will visit St. John’s at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 31, 2015, according to Sammy Albano.

The two teams last met Jan. 28, 2012 at Cameron Indoor Stadium, with Duke holding off the Johnnies, 83-76, despite 30 points from Maurice Harkless, now with the Orlando Magic.

“Discussions are taking place with several high-profile non-conference opponents for 2014-15,” St. John’s spokesman Mark Fratto told SNY.tv, “but nothing has been finalized at this time.”

St. John’s also has a two-year deal with former Big East powerhouse Syracuse that will take them this season to the Carrier Dome. To read more of this story, click here

Obekpa to Return to St. John’s; Big Recruiting Weekend for Johnnies (UPDATED)

St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin announced on Friday that sophomore center Chris Obekpa will return to the Red Storm team for the 2014-15 season.

The big man had been granted a release from the school to transfer on April 3. With Obekpa on the roster, the Red Storm projects to return 11 letterwinners for next year’s campaign.

Despite losing JaKarr Sampson to the NBA Draft and Orlando Sanchez to graduation, St. John’s has a strong core for next season now with Obekpa, guards Rysheed Jordan, Phil Greene, Jamal Branch and D’Angelo Harrison and wing Sir’Dominic Pointer.  To read more of this story, click here

Lavin to Meet With Obekpa This Week

St. John’s coach Steve Lavin is expected to meet this week with Chris Obekpa in an encounter that could lay the groundwork for Obekpa’s return to the school, sources told SNY.tv.

The 6-foot-9 Obekpa gave St. John’s fans hope that he might stay at the school by Tweeting Sunday night, “Let’s do this @philgreene31.”

Greene is his St. John’s teammate.

Obekpa was granted a release on April 3, as first reported by SNY.tv, but it appears he has had a change of heart and desires to return to St. John’s.

Lavin has been busy recruiting in Chicago and California but would be willing to meet with Obekpa, sources said. To read more of this story, click here

Obekpa Tweet Gives Hope He May Remain at St. John’s

Chris Obekpa gave St. John’s fans hope that he might stay at the school by Tweeting Sunday night, “Let’s do this @philgreene31.”

Greene, a St. John’s guard, recently Tweeted that he would remain at St. John’s.

The 6-foot-9 Obekpa was granted a release on April 3, as first reported by SNY.tv, but it appears he has had a change of heart and desires to return to St. John’s.

Johnnies head coach Steve Lavin is busy on the road recruiting but would be willing to meet and listen to what Obekpa has to say, sources told SNY.tv. To read more of this story, click here

St. John’s Pursuing Chicago Forwards Jones, Cunningham, Plus Jacko & Horford

JonesIn an attempt to help rebuild his frontcourt, St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin has offered scholarships to uncommitted 2014 Chicago forwards Marlon Jones (pictured) and Josh Cunningham after visiting with them on Friday.

Lou Adams, Jones’s coach at Chicago Orr, said the 6-foot-8 Jones will be in New York later this week for the Jordan Classic and that Jones would probably visit the St. John’s campus Friday morning before the Jordan games.

“More than likely, probably Friday,” Adams told SNY.tv Sunday morning by phone, adding that it would be an unofficial visit. “We’re just coming down.” To read more of this story, click here

Lavin to Visit Forwards As He Rebuilds Frontcourt

jacko_cardAs he works to rebuild a frontcourt that has lost several players this offseason, St. John’s coach Steve Lavin will travel today to see 6-8 unsigned forward Marlon Jones out of Chicago Orr.

Lavin will then head to California on Saturday to visit with junior college forward Adom Jacko.

The 6-foot-8 Jacko out of Chaffey College averaged 13.6 points and 6.7 rebounds this season and was named to the CCCAA All-State Team and the 2014 CCCAA Men’s Basketball Championships all-tournament Team. Jacko helped lead the Panthers to the Final Four.

Lavin was originally scheduled to attend a Coaches’ Clinic at Roselle (N.J.) Catholic that will also include UConn coach Kevin Ollie among others, but changed plans to travel to see Jones and Jacko.  To read more of this story, click here

Adonis Delarosa to St. John’s; Andre Walker to Loyola (Md.)

Delarosa-WalkerBy BEN BASKIN & ADAM ZAGORIA

NEW YORK — St. John’s picked up its first commitment in the Class of 2014 and it was a big one.

Literally.

Adonis Delarosa, a 6-foot-11, 256-pound center from Christ the King in Queens, verbally committed during a press conference Wednesday in the school’s library.

Delarosa also considered Pittsburgh, South Carolina and Alabama, among others.

Delarose, who averaged 12 points and 12 rebounds in helping lead CTK to a second straight New York Class AA Federation crown, said Pitt was a close second.

Delarosa called it the “hardest decision of his life.”

He said he’s been thinking about St. John’s for a while, but made the final decision Wednesday at noon. To read more of this story, click here

St. John’s Obekpa Gets Blanket Release

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Transferring St. John’s big man Chris Obekpa received a blanket release from the school and is free to transfer to any school not in the Big East Conference, sources told SNY.tv Friday.

Baylor, Florida, Pittsburgh and Oregon are among the schools expected to be involved for Obekpa, who must sit out next season before being eligible in 2015-16.

SNY.tv first reported Thursday the news that Obekpa will transfer. He averaged 3.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.0 blocks this past season, but played just 2 minutes in St. John’s loss to Providence in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals. He then played 11 minutes in the loss to Robert Morris in the first round of the NIT.

Obekpa will be highly sought after because of his shot-blocking abilities. He is projected as the No. 46 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com, but now won’t be eligible until 2016.

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Chris Obekpa to Transfer from St. John’s; Red Storm Looking at Other Options (UPDATED)

ARLINGTON, Texas — St. John’s sophomore big man Chris Obekpa has been granted a release and will transfer.

The 6-foot-9 Obekpa would be the second big man to leave the program since the Johnnies lost in the first round of the NIT to Robert Morris. Sophomore forward JaKarr Sampson previously declared for the NBA Draft. Guard Max Hooper, who graduates in May, will also transfer.

“We wish Chris good luck as he moves toward his next opportunity,” head coach Steve Lavin said in a statement after the news was previously reported by SNY.tv. “Max graduates in May with a degree in psychology and will look to continue his education and playing career at another institution. We wish Max the best of luck in all of his future endeavors.”

Obekpa averaged 3.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.0 blocks this past season, but played just 2 minutes in the loss to Providence in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals. He then played 11 minutes in the loss to Robert Morris. To read more of this story, click here