It is almost 2013 and St. John’s has yet to receive word from the NCAA on the status of senior forward Orlando Sanchez.
While the NCAA has already ruled on players like Rodney Purvis of N.C. State, Shabazz Muhammad of UCLA and Myck Kabongo of Texas, the 6-foot-9 Sanchez remains in limbo.
Sources said the main issue with Sanchez, a native of the Dominican Republic, relates to his age. He’s 24.
“With Orlando it’s related to eligibility,” St. John’s coach Steve Lavin said last month. “It’s age and eligibility are the two things that are being evaluated.”
St. John’s (8-4) is in the midst of an 11-day break from game action and won’t play again until a Jan. 2 date at Villanova.
The Johnnies have 18 more games on the schedule before the Big East Tournament, meaning Sanchez has already missed 40 percent of his team’s regular-season games.
A 2010-11 honorable mention JUCO All-American, Sanchez averaged 8.5 points and 11.5 rebounds last season at Monroe (N.Y.) College.
Without him, the Johnnies have been led in scoring by shooting guard D’Angelo Harrison (20.9 ppg), small forward JaKarr Sampson (14.7) and point guard Phil Greene (10 ppg).
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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 whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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.