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.

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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

Big East Breakdown: Harrison Says It’s a ‘Failure’ if Johnnies Don’t Make NCAAs; Willard Hopes Whitehead is One-and-Done; Coaches Expect 5-6 Teams in Big Dance Annually

St. . John's vs VillanovaNEW YORK —  St. John’s was picked third in the Big East Preseason poll behind Villanova and Georgetown, and make no mistake: The pressure is on the Johnnies to make the NCAA Tournament this season.

“If we don’t make the NCAA Tournament, it’s going to be a complete failure of the year. Hands down,” senior guard D’Angelo Harrison, a First-Team All-Big East pick, told SNY.tv Wednesday at Media Day.

The Johnnies had a chance to make the NCAAs last year despite starting the season 0-5 in the Big East, but lost to eventual Big East Tournament champion Providence in the first round of the Big East and then fell to Robert Morris in the opening round of the NIT.

This year the Johnnies have no excuses. To read more of this story, click here

Briscoe, Diallo, Sampson Enjoy St. John’s Visit

Briscoe SJUIsaiah Briscoe, Cheick Diallo and Brandon Sampson all enjoyed their visits to St. John’s this weekend and the Johnnies are positioned well with the trio.

“I had a great visit to St. John’s,” the 6-foot-3 Briscoe told SNY.tv. “The coaching staff and I have a good connection and they understand what I’m looking for in a college and a program. Of course, I also like that it’s close to home and I love the city.”

“The St. John’s visit went well,” a source close to the 6-foot-9 Diallo told SNY.tv. “The kid enjoyed the moment.”

The 6-4 Sampson called the visit “good.” To read more of this story, click here

Briscoe, Diallo, Sampson Headline St. John’s Midnight Madness

Briscoe SJUIsaiah Briscoe, Cheick Diallo and Brandon Sampson highlighted St. John’s Red Storm Season Tip-Off on Friday night.

Fans chanted “Come Here Briscoe,” according to HardwoodInsiders.com, which took this picture of Sampson and Briscoe, who is wearing a St. John’s baseball cap.

St. John’s coach Steve Lavin took three assistants to watch the 6-foot-3 Briscoe work out at Roselle Catholic on Thursday in his first workout since having the boot on his foot removed.

St. John’s may turn out to be the last visit for Briscoe, who has also tripped to Kentucky, UConn, Seton Hall and Missouri. To read more of this story, click here

On Eve of Midnight Madness, St. John’s Goes Four Deep for Briscoe

Briscoe Peach Jam 2On the eve of their Red Storm Tip-Off on Friday night, St. John’s went four deep Thursday to watch Roselle (N.J.) Catholic point guard Isaiah Briscoe in his first workout since getting the boot on his foot removed.

The 6-foot-3 Briscoe fractured his foot over the summer and has been in a walking boot since July.

St. John’s coach Steve Lavin watched Briscoe at RC along with assistants Rico Hines, Tony Chiles and Jim Whitesell.

Briscoe is due to visit St. John’s beginning Friday along with his father, George. St. John’s will also host 2015s Cheick Diallo and Brandon Sampson in what is a critical recruiting period for the Johnnies, who have six seniors on the roster. To read more of this story, click here

Critical Recruiting Weekend on Tap for St. John’s

Briscoe Peach Jam actionTo say that this is a critical recruiting weekend for head coach Steve Lavin and St. John’s would be a massive understatement.

The Johnnies have six seniors on their current roster, including guards Jamal Branch, D’Angelo Harrison, Phil Greene and Sir’Dominic Pointer, and could also lose junior big man Chris Obekpa and/or sophomore point guard Rysheed Jordan to the pros.

Lavin and company need a dynamic recruiting class in 2015 to help offset some of their losses and help pave the way for the future. They already missed out on a couple of targets when guard Malik Beasley chose Florida State and junior college wing Tank Efianayi recently picked UCF.

Beginning with their Red Storm Tip-Off Friday night, St. John’s will host several recruits, including a trio of five-star 2015 players in Roselle (N.J.) Catholic guard Isaiah Briscoe, Our Savior New American forward Cheick Diallo and Baton Rouge (LA) shooting guard Brandon Sampson. All three players could potentially wait until the spring to commit, although Briscoe — whom St. John’s sent four staff members to watch on Thursday — may pull the trigger early. To read more of this story, click here