Thursday, April 21, 2011

Steve Lavin Signs Chicago Prize; Could God's Gift Be Next?

The St. John's basketball team continues to pile up key recruits and, yesterday, acquired an important cog in next year's squad by signing guard Phil Greene of Chicago.  Head coach Steve Lavin will now focus on  going after 6-foot-8 power forward/center God's Gift Achiuwa from Erie Community College and Jamari Traylor, another big man from Chicago.

Greene joins eight other blue-chip players who have signed a letter-of-intent with the Red Storm in 2011-12.   There are three remaining scholarships left on the roster.

Greene is a vital pick-up for St. John's; who are loaded with front-line players.  The 6-foot-2 guard, who is enrolled at IMG Academy in Florida, would play an important role in bolstering the team's backcourt.  His IMG teammate, 6-foot-8 Traylor is a bulky post player.  Traylor and Achiuwa would give the Red Storm one of the most fearsome front-lines in the physical Big East Conference.

Lavin continues to collect great players in his first wave of recruiting.  His class of 2011-12 already boasts six freshmen ranked in the top-100 by most recruiting services.  St. John's recruiting class is currently ranked the # 2 by and ESPN.

Yesterday, St. John's lost a key recruit when forward Dwight Meikle from Long Island was granted his release.  The previous signing of three other forwards would have probably meant fewer minutes to Meikle anyway.

Achiuwa will visit St. John's this weekend.  The Nigerian minister's son has already visited Cincinnati and Washington.  Kentucky is also interested.  Achiuwa could be a huge difference maker to whichever team lands the big man.

Lavin, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer before last season, doesn't seem to be slowing down. He secretly battled the disease throughout last season when he lead the Red Storm to a 21-12 record and it's first NCAA Tournament spot in nine years.

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