August 1, 2010

St. John's check talent on last open day

BRONX, NY - Saturday marked the end of the NCAA live period for Division one coaches.

The NYC Summer Classic gave perspective schools that one last opportunity to check out talent in a look but don't touch fashion. St. John's did not pass up the chance to see their prime targets up close and personal at the Fordham University venue.

With Red Storm head coach Steve Lavin en route from Dallas, TX, assistant coach Tony Chiles flew in from Washington, D.C. and was seen by, front and center along side of head coaches of other BIG EAST school coaches. Chiles, Rick Pitino, Mick Cronin and Mike Rice were most prominent, particularly during the NY Panthers versus Team Expressions (MA) game. Most were there to see what all the commotion is about regarding Maurice Harkless. Even former St. John's coach Norm Roberts made a brief appearance at the tournament, his first in months.

In his opening game, Harkless put up a subpar 16 points in a loss to the team from MA. There was a buzz amongst the coaches who had hoped the Panthers would win so that they could see a showdown between Harkless and Jermaine Sanders, who's New Heights team defeated NJABC 50-45, with Sanders scoring a team high 19 points.

The Panthers didn't have their best outing during the event, ending up in the loser bracket but that didn't deter Chiles and the other coaches who followed the team throughout as evidence of the Harlkless appeal. To his credit, the rising senior knocked down a respectable 26 points during his second game against NJABC.

Chiles got a 2-fer during the Panthers -Expression game as he got to see another target, Khem Birch play. During the game against the Panthers the rising senior only managed 6 points but did damage on the boards. Expressions, however made it to the championship round losing to East Coast Elite. Birch was led his team with 18 points.

In addition to Harkless, Birch and Sanders, other targets that Chiles was clearly checking out most intently throughout the evening included Myles Mack, who played well with the Playaz Club, Angel Nunez who has left the Gauchos and is now playing with Team Tri-State and 6-foot-8 rising sophomore, Jordan Washington from Pathways HS who help lead his New Heights (2013) squad to a 16U chip..

Starting August 1st, colleges can start talking to prospective recruits.

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