Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Help appears to be on the way for depleted St. John’s.
Amir Garrett, a 6-foot-7 wing now at Bridgton (Maine) Academy, will finish his final math exam on Friday and could head down to Queens later that day.
“I think the plan is leave Friday,” Bridgton coach Whit Lesure told SNY.tv by phone.
St. John’s is down to six recruited scholarship players after guard Nurideen Lindsey announced he would transfer.
The Johnnies (4-5) play Saturday against Fordham at MSG, but Garrett likely wouldn’t be eligible for that game.
It may take a few days or a week for him to become eligible. The Johnnies next play Dec. 21 against Texas Pan-American, and then open the Big East season Dec. 27 against Providence.
“It remains to be seen how quickly his stuff gets processed [by the NCAA] in a pretty unique situation,” Lesure said.
Garrett was one of three St. John’s signees to be declared academically ineligible in September. JaKarr Sampson, a 6-8 forward, and Norvel Pelle, a 6-10 center, have both since decommitted.
St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin has also been away from the team while recovering from prostate cancer. It remains unclear when he will return on a full-time basis.
While the Johnnies need all the bodies they can get, Lesure warned that St. John’s fans shouldn’t expect Garrett to be the second coming of Dwight Hardy in his senior season.
Lesure said Garrett is the “most one-sided, left-handed dude I’ve ever seen.”
“It’s not as simple as running up and down the court and dunking the ball every time because at that level there’s people in your way,” Lesure added.
“The way he can help them is outside of the way that he thinks about himself,” he added.
“In addition to the high-energy guy that he typically is, you gotta become a defensive guy, a rebounding guy, a hard-running-the-floor guy.
“Those are the little things that most guys who were stars don’t get until you’re with other guys who are good.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.