Amar Alibegovic to St. John’s


Amar Alibegovic has committed to St. John’s and will be eligible for the upcoming season. was the first to report the news Wednesday afternoon.

“We are pleased that Amar has chosen to join our St. John’s basketball family,” head coach Steve Lavin said. “Amar has the skill, size and basketball intellect to help fuel our purposes as we continue to build our program into a sustainable winner.”

Ranked as the No. 41 prospect of his age in Europe, the 6-foot-9 Alibegovic helped Bosnia and Herzegovina post a perfect 8-0 mark to sweep the field and win the U20 European Championship Division B in mid-July. The forward had three double-figure scoring games and averaged 5.1 points to go with 2.8 rebounds in the tournament. Alibegovic also shot 54.8 percent from the floor, including a 35.3 percent clip from long range. Earlier in July, Alibegovic had been named to the preliminary 23-man roster for the Senior National Team. To read more of this story, click here

St. John’s Targets Beasley, Alibegovic Visit MSG (UPDATED)

MalikMalik Beasley is in the midst of a two-day St. John’s visit that included a trip to the Queens campus on Sunday following his co-MVP performance Saturday in the Big Strick Classic and a visit Monday to Madison Square Garden.

“We’re going to see the Garden today, we didn’t get to see it yesterday,” the 6-foot-4, 190-pound shooting guard from Alpharetta (GA) St. Francis told Monday morning by phone.

Later Monday, Beasley Tweeted a picture of himself, St. John’s coach Steve Lavin and 6-9 Bosnian forward Amar Alibegovic that was taken on their tour of the Garden. As we previously reported, Alibegovic would be eligible for the 2014-15 season.

Beasley had never been to the Garden before and Lavin always makes a point to showcase the arena to recruits. Beasley is one of several key 2015 St. John’s targets, along with Cheick Diallo, Isaiah Briscoe, Brandon Sampson and Tyler Dorsey.

As for Sunday’s visit to the St. John’s campus, Beasley said, “It was fun. I liked the campus. It was cool.” To read more of this story, click here

Malik Beasley Cuts List to 8, Looking to Visit St. John’s During NYC Stay

Malik Beasley - 1.1By JOHN PAVIA

Special to ZAGSBLOG

NEW YORK – Malik Beasley has finally cut his list to eight schools on the eve of the Big Strick Classic in New York and St. John’s is one of the remaining schools with a shot to land him.

A 6-4 guard of St. Francis High School in Atlanta, GA, Beasley listed UConn, St. John’s, UCLA, Wake Forest, Florida State, Oregon, VCU and Georgia as the final eight schools in contention for his talents on the hardwood, via Paul Biancardi of ESPN.

He has had a tremendous summer on the AAU circuit as he started off red-hot in April and has continued that success all the way into the beginning of August. Beasley performed well during the workout session on Friday at the Gauchos Gym in the Bronx and seemed to be enjoying his time in New York. To read more of this story, click here

Bosnian Forward to Visit St. John’s; 2015 Targets Come Into Focus

St. John’s has been relatively quiet on the recruiting front in recent weeks, but that could start to change soon.

Amar Alibegovic, a 6-foot-9 Bosnian forward who could suit up for the 2014-15 season and whom head coach Steve Lavin recently went to watch, will visit the school the week of Aug. 10, sources told For more on Alibegovic, read this previous story.

Meantime, St. John’s remains focused on 2015 high school targets Isaiah Briscoe, Cheick Diallo, Tyler Dorsey, Brandon Sampson and Malik Beasley as well as JUCO targets Tanksley Efianayi of Daytona State, Deshawn Freeman of Hutchinson and Andre Spight of South Plains. To read more of this story, click here

Johnnies Officially Sign Delarosa, Thomas

St. John’s head on Monday announced the signings of Christ The King center Adonis Delarosa and forward Keith Thomas out of Westchester Community College.

Delarosa committed in April, and Thomas committed in May. They will add frontcourt depth to a team that lost JaKarr Sampson, Orlando Sanchez and God’sgift Achiuwa.

“We are pleased to sign two prospects from New York as we bolster the frontline depth of our roster,” said head coach Steve Lavin, who has signed eight recruits out of New York high schools or junior colleges in his Red Storm tenure.

Delarosa, the 2013-14 New York Daily News Queens Player of the Year, helped guide Christ the King to back-to-back city and state Federation championships as a junior and senior. Ranked by ESPN as a three-star recruit and the 14th-best high school senior in the state of New York, Delarosa garnered first team All-City and first team All-Queens honors from the Daily News this past season after averaging 12 points and 12 rebounds. The Middle Village, N.Y., native also earned first team All-Queens accolades from the Daily News as a junior. To read more of this story, click here

St. John’s Sampson to Play With Sixers’ Summer League Team

jakarrNEW YORK — St. John’s forward JaKarr Sampson went undrafted in Thursday’s NBA Draft, but it didn’t take him long to find a team interested in his services.

The 6-foot-9 Sampson, who attended the same Ohio high school as LeBron James and was the Big East Rookie of the Year in 2012-13, will play for the Philadelphia 76ers summer league team in Orlando.

“Literally the second the draft was over I got a call from both [Sixers GM] Sam Hinkie and [Sixers coach] Brett Brown with both telling me they love JaKarr and want him on their Summer League team,” Seth Cohen, Sampson’s agent, told “I have to believe that JaKarr will get a fair shot and opportunity.” To read more of this story, click here

St. John’s Pulls Out of Dominic Artis Recruitment

Following an internal review, St. John’s is no longer recruiting former Oregon point guard Dominic Artis, a source familiar with the situation told

St. John’s decision to discontinue the recruitment was independent of the decision made Monday at the University of Oregon, the source said.

Oregon on Monday said that three former basketball players — Artis, Damyean Dotson and Brandon Austin — have been suspended as students for a minimum of four years, and up to 10 years, as a result of rape allegations involving a freshman student. To read more of this story, click here

Dominic Artis May Commit to St. John’s, School Conducting Due Diligence

Former Oregon point guard Dominic Artis may soon commit to St. John’s but the school is also conducting due diligence on the matter.

“I think so, I think so,” Mark Olivier of the Oakland Soldiers said by phone of a possible commitment during or following Artis’s upcoming weekend visit. “They’re a great school. It’s a private school. You gotta remember, Dominic came from a private school so it’s a really good fit. Going back to his roots. He was thinking about St. John’s during that time [when he was first recruited].”

Artis and St. John’s coach Steve Lavin are both California natives, and Lavin recruited Artis the first time around before he ultimately landed at Oregon. To read more of this story, click here

Former Oregon Point Guard Dominic Artis to Visit St. John’s

Former Oregon point guard Dominic Artis will visit St. John’s this weekend, sources confirmed to

St. John’s coach Steve Lavin recruited Artis in high school and should Artis commit to the Johnnies, he would have to sit one year per NCAA regulations before having two years of eligibility.

The 6-foot-1 Artis was one of three players — along with Brandon Austin and Damyean Dotsondismissed last month from the Oregon program after they were not charged despite accusations of rape from an incident on March 8. The DA’s office “no-filed” charges in the sexual assault.

Artis averaged 4.1 points and 2.2 assists last season for the Ducks. To read more of this story, click here

After Whirlwind Time at St. John’s, Orlando Sanchez Looking to Open NBA’s Eyes

Orlando SanchezBy JOSH NEWMAN
Special to ZAGSBLOG

NEW YORK – Orlando Sanchez may have played just one season at St. John’s, but it took a lot of doing just to get him on the floor.

A 6-foot-9, 230-pound native of the Dominican Republic, Sanchez and Monroe (N.Y.) College teammate Marco Bourgault committed to head coach Steve Lavin in April 2012. Eligibility issues soon arose, partly because Sanchez was trying to become a first-year player at the age of 24, but then because he logged time with the Dominican Republic National Team in 2010.

Thanks in part to the support of legal counsel in the fight against the NCAA, Sanchez gained one year of eligibility in 2013-14, when he averaged 7.4 points and 5.6 rebounds for the 20-13 Red Storm.

With all of that behind him and with a productive season in the books, Sanchez is now trying to make the leap to the professional level, whether it be the NBA or otherwise.

“If I go to the NBA, I can play different positions, I can fill a role no matter where I am on the floor,” Sanchez told at the RBA Showcase on Sunday afternoon at Basketball City. “All the time at St. John’s, I was playing in different spots. I think I proved I was coachable and showed I was comfortable no matter where I was on the floor.”

To read more of this story, click here