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

St. John’s Sampson to Declare for Draft

JaKarrDespite not being listed on the DraftExpress.com 2014 Mock Draft, 6-foot-9 St. John’s sophomore forward JaKarr Sampson announced Monday that he intends to forego the remainder of his collegiate career and enter the 2014 NBA Draft.

St. John’s will hold an 11 a.m. press conference on Tuesday.

“JaKarr will forego his final two years of eligibility and pursue his dream of playing in the NBA. We are grateful for JaKarr’s contributions to our St. John’s basketball program,” said Red Storm head coach Steve Lavin. “In speaking with NBA general managers JaKarr is projected as a draft prospect with intriguing talent and upside.”

To read more of this story, click here

Onetime St. John’s Pledge Ronald Roberts Now Dancing With St. Joe’s

BUFFALO — Ronald Roberts and St. Joe’s were playing against St. John’s in  the first round of the NIT last season when he had his first interaction with Johnnies head coach Steve Lavin.

“He stopped me and he said he would like to talk to me about everything that happened because he never called me [during recruiting] or nothing like that,” the 6-foot-8 Roberts, who starred at St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, told SNY.tv here as St. Joe’s prepared to play UConn in an East Region game Thursday evening.

Reflecting on the game, which the Johnnies won, Lavin told SNY.tv: “It’s nice when it works out for everyone. I had the opportunity to briefly speak with Ronald after our NIT game at St. Joe’s last season and it was evident he is a true gentleman. I’m happy that he has had an outstanding career at St. Joe’s.” To read more of this story, click here

Johnnies Get Hammered in Season-Ending NIT Loss to Robert Morris

For St. John’s and head coach Steve Lavin, this was supposed to be a season that ended with an NCAA Tournament bid and perhaps a magical March run.

Instead, it concluded with the No. 1-seeded Johnnies getting blasted by No. 8 Robert Morris, 89-78, in the first round of the NIT at Carnesecca Arena.

The Johnnies played their final game of the season without point guard Rysheed Jordan, who missed the game with tonsilitis.

St. John’s had no answer for Karvel Anderson, who poured in 38 points on 12-for-20 shooting, and former St. Anthony standout Lucky Jones, who went for 25 points and nine rebounds. To read more of this story, click here