Sampson gives St. John's more good news

The news keeps getting better for Steve Lavin at St. John’s.

Two weeks after he landed Queens, NY native Maurice Harkless, Jakarr Sampson – ranked the 23rd-best player in the Class of 2011 by ESPNU – announced on Thursday that he, too, is coming to New York.

“I’m bringing basketball back to New York,’’ Sampson said on his televised announcement. “I heard back in the day St. John’s had real good basketball and I’m ready to bring it back to St. John’s.’’

The 6-foot-8 wing player visited Tennessee over the weekend, but instead chose St. John’s over the Vols, Baylor and Louisville.

The Akron native started his career at St. Vincent-St. Mary, alma mater of one LeBron James, and averaged 14 points and eight rebounds per game there before transferring to Brewster Academy in New Hampshire.

Sampson’s signing marks yet another turning point for Lavin and the Red Storm. It’s been more than a decade since St. John’s has signed a top 25 recruit and with Harkless, rated 60th, Lavin has the makings of what could be a nationally ranked class when all is said and done.

Editor's Note: For more on Harkless and St. John's, click here for Paul Biancardi's analysis of the commitment.