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Thursday, April 11, 2013
Jordan a breakthrough signee for St. John's

By Kieran Darcy

Steve Lavin added a big piece to the puzzle on Thursday.

Rysheed Jordan, the highly coveted high school point guard from Philadelphia, has committed to play for St. John's next season.

"I really like their style of play, pick-and-roll and how Coach Lavin lets their guards play," Jordan said in an interview with ESPN Recruiting's Reggie Rankin. "On my visit I also built a great relationship with Chris Obekpa and Phil Greene. I liked New York City, and Coach Lavin is a great coach, just awesome."

Jordan, 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds, is the No. 22-ranked senior in the country, and chose St. John's over UCLA and Temple. He just led his high school team to a state championship, and averaged 26 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds a game.

"He's a big-time finisher for a lead guard, with strength to absorb contact and explosion to play well above the rim," according to his ESPN scouting report. "He's just as good getting to the elbow as he is the rim, where his size enables him to see over the defense to both pass and make short pull-ups."

With Jordan in the fold, St. John's could have one of the best backcourts in the country next season -- if D'Angelo Harrison returns to the Red Storm.

Harrison, the third-leading scorer in the Big East (17.8 ppg), was suspended by Lavin for the final six games of this past season for conduct detrimental to the team.

Reserve forward Amir Garrett left the program last week. But if the rest of the current roster returns (including Big East Rookie of the Year Jakarr Sampson), and with the addition of Jordan (as well as power forward Orlando Sanchez and swingman Max Hooper), St. John's figures to be a contender in the new Big East next season, and possibly nationally ranked as well.

Year 4 of the Steve Lavin era could be a breakthrough year for the Red Storm, who have missed the NCAA tournament the past two seasons.