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

T.J. Gibbs Says St. John’s ‘At Top of List’ After Offer, Will Visit Rutgers, Providence

T.J. Gibbs, the 6-foot-2 2016 shooting guard from Seton Hall Prep and the Playaz Basketball Club, picked up an offer from St. John’s on Saturday during a visit to campus, and has upcoming visits set to Rutgers and Providence.

“[The visit] went well, I got to meet the whole coaching staff,” Gibbs said Monday by phone. “Coach [Steve] Lavin was up at my school last week, so I met him there. We got to talk at my school a little bit, and when I went up there we sat down and we had a discussion about what he sees me as and where he thinks I can be in the future and how I can contribute to the team.”

Gibbs added the St. John’s offer to recent ones from Georgia Tech and UAB. He also holds offers from USF, Temple, Miami, Seton Hall, Rutgers, Oklahoma, USC, Xavier, Auburn, Penn, Towson and Virginia Tech. To read more of this story, click here

JUCO Guard Efianayi Enjoys St. John’s Visit, Arizona State Up Next

Tanksley “Tank” Efianayi, a 6-foot-5, 205-pound shooting guard/small forward from Daytona State (FL), enjoyed his St. John’s visit this past weekend and trips to Arizona State this coming weekend.

“It was good, I never saw Madison Square Garden before so that was amazing to see,” he told SNY.tv by phone Sunday evening. “And Rucker Park, all the great NBA players played at Rucker Park. They just showed me a lot of New York, and their campus was actually quiet compared to the city, which I didn’t know it was going to be like that. It’s actually pretty small.”

St. John’s needs a big recruiting class in 2015 and must replace numerous graduating guards and wings, and Efianayi, a Connecticut native, sees a place where he could flourish.

“They have about five wings leaving, so they have a lot of minutes at that position,” he said. “They need a veteran coming in. They’re looking for another leader for the team, so I could play right away if I look to commit there.” To read more of this story, click here

Amar Alibegovic to St. John’s

malikBy JACK LeGWIN & ADAM ZAGORIA 

Amar Alibegovic has committed to St. John’s and will be eligible for the upcoming season.

SNY.tv 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 SNY.tv 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