Recruiting Roundup: Doughty to St. John’s, Montero to USF, Pritchard to Oklahoma

By ADAM ZAGORIA & ZACH SMART

Less than a week after losing out on Roselle (N.J.) Catholic guard Isaiah Briscoe, St. John’s landed its first commitment in the Class of 2015 when Philadelphia Math, Civics, & Sciences combo guard Samir Doughty committed to the Johnnies.

St. John’s coach Steve Lavin had hoped Briscoe would be the building block to a huge class for 2015 that must replace six graduating seniors.

“Style of play and great coaching,” the 6-foot-4, 182-pound Doughty told SNY.tv of why he picked St. John’s over Penn State and Seton Hall. “That’s what I really like about it. And they play at [Madison Square] Garden.” To read more of this story, click here

In Wake of Briscoe Decision, St. John’s Moves on With A Win

SJUBy CHRIS RUSSELL

NEW YORK – On the same day that Isaiah Briscoe officially signed his NLI with Kentucky — ending any dreams of a change of course in the Johnnies’ favor come spring — St. John’s began anew at Carnesecca Arena.

The Red Storm — who know this season is about making the NCAA Tournament or bust — controlled the game from the start and came away with a 77-58 victory over NJIT.

Sophomore guard Rysheed Jordan went for 18 points and five assists and junior center Chris Obekpa posted a double-double with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 4 blocks.  Sir’Dominic Pointer added 13 points and 10 rebounds, and D’Angelo Harrison scored 10 for St. John’s.

“Our goal is to win more games than we did last year because that wasn’t enough,” Harrison said, referencing the team’s NIT appearance a year ago. “That’s our entire team’s mindset.” To read more of this story, click here

St. John’s De La Rosa Can Practice on Appeal

After initially being deemed a non-qualifier earlier this week, St. John’s freshman big man Adonis De La Rosa can now practice with the team while the NCAA hears his appeal, sources told SNY.tv Thursday.

If St. John’s played him in games and he were ultimately found ineligible, they would have to forfeit any games he participated in. So for now he will just practice.

St. John’s opens the season Friday night against NJIT. To read more of this story, click here

With Briscoe on Brink of Announcing, Steve Lavin Has Everything on the Line; John Calipari Not So Much

NCAA Basketball: Big East Tournament-Providence vs St JohnsSometime after 6 p.m. Eastern tonight, Isaiah Briscoe will sit in an ESPN studio in Bristol, Conn., and announce where he plans to play college basketball.

Somewhere in New York City, St. John’s coach Steve Lavin – who is in the fifth year of a six-year deal — will have just about everything on the line.

Of the three schools the 6-foot-3 Roselle (N.J.) Catholic point guard is considering — St. John’s, Kentucky and UConn — no school has more invested — and more at stake — than St. John’s.

If Briscoe picks the Johnnies, “it means that within the shadow of New York City, he’ll probably be the highest-profile guy that they’ve gotten in their immediate recruiting area in a long, long time,” longtime New York recruiting expert Tom Konchalski told me over the phone Wednesday. “It gives them more recruiting credibility, No. 1. And he obviously is a very talented player.

“He’s much more of a critical recruit for St. John’s than for Kentucky. At Kentucky, he’s just another outstanding player, of which they have so many.” To read more of this story, click here

St. John’s Adonis De La Rosa Deemed a Non-Qualifier

Forty-eight hours before Isaiah Briscoe is due to announce his college choice, St. John’s has taken another huge frontcourt hit.

Adonis De La Rosa , a 6-foot-11, 256-pound center from Christ the King in Queens, has been deemed a non-qualifier by the NCAA Eligibility Center, the school announced. De La Rosa remains enrolled at St. John’s University, but he is not eligible for participation with the men’s basketball team until his academic progress meets NCAA standards.

A source close to De La Rosa told SNY.tv Monday night that his SAT scores were disputed by a third party, and that led to his being deemed a non-qualifier. The source added that De La Rosa still hopes to become eligible this season.

“The St. John’s Athletic Department was recently informed by the NCAA Eligibility Center of the change in certification status for Adonis De La Rosa after new information revealed the student-athlete does not meet eligibility requirements,” said St. John’s Director of Athletics Chris Monasch. “The University will continue to review the options available in this particular case.” To read more of this story, click here

St. John’s Looking into Keith Thomas’s Transcript in Wake of WCC Scandal

St. John’s is looking into Keith Thomas’s transcript in the wake of the Westchester Community College transcript scandal, multiple sources close to the situation told SNY.tv.

“We are looking into it,” one school source said.

If it turns out WCC changed Thomas’s transcripts, he could be ruled a non- or partial-qualifier by the NCAA. If he’s deemed a partial qualifier, he would remain on scholarship but won’t be permitted to play. He currently has two years of eligibility and could end up having just one if he loses a year.

A Mount Vernon, N.Y., native, the 6-foot-8 Thomas averaged 15.3 points and 15.7 rebounds last season at WCC. He chose the Johnnies over Loyola-Chicago and Fordham in May.

St. John’s is counting on Thomas to provide frontcourt scoring and rebounding after the losses of several key frontcourt players, including JaKarr Sampson, who made the Philadelphia 76ers roster, and Orlando Sanchez, who will play for the Knicks’ D-League team in Westchester.

To read more of this story, click here

St. John’s Recruiting Italian Guard, Former Oregon Pledge

MussiniSt. John’s coach Steve Lavin is headed to Milan this weekend to recruit 2015 guard Federico Mussini.

If Mussini doesn’t sign a big contract overseas and opts for college, he could wind up on the Johnnies roster like fellow Rome native Amar Alibegovic, a 6-foot-9 stretch forward now on the team.

The 6-foot, 160-pound Mussini is ranked No. 13 in the 1996 European age group by Eurohoops and No. 7 by DraftExpress.com. He averaged 14.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game in the 2012 U16 European Championship Men’s Division. To read more of this story, click here