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.
St. John’s has added a big man and a sharpshooter for the 2012-13 season.
Orlando Sanchez, a 6-foot-9 forward, and Marco Bougault, a 6-6 sharp-shooting wing, of Monroe (N.Y.) College both pledged to the Johnnies on their weekend visit.
Sanchez will have two years of eligibility remaining and Bourgault will have three.
“Both committed [Sunday] morning,” sources told SNY.tv.
“I committed to St. John’s,” Bourgault added.
“I like the coaches, New York, the team, the situation, the opportunities and Madison Square Garden,” added the Frenchman.
Bourgault also visited Louisiana Tech and considered Penn State and St. Louis.
Sanchez also visited Providence and Auburn.
They join 6-8 JaKarr Sampson and 6-3 Felix Balamou in St. John’s 2012 class.
St. John’s has six players returning –including transfer Jamal Branch — plus four commits, leaving three open scholarships. They are also involved with guards Darrick Wood, Max Hooper, a Harvard transfer, and Josiah Turner, the Arizona transfer, as well as bigs Chris Obekpa, Michael Chandler, Philip Nolan and Justin Raffington, a San Francisco transfer. Wood will visit next weekend and several others may join him.
An athletic big man, Sanchez was named to the All-Tournament team at the NJCAA Nationals, where Monroe finished in fifth place. He averaged 10.2 points and 7.8 rebounds on the season.
“He is an ultra-athletic rebounder and shot-blocker who’s a very good teammate,” Monroe assistant Brock Erickson told SNY.tv. “He loves to pass. He’s a great teammate who will do whatever it takes to win.
He added: “Orlando will be an impact palyer if he plays hard every single possession of every single game.”
Sources say Lavin is enamored with Bourgault as a potential spot-up shooter who can be a zone-buster. St. John’s current roster is loaded with wings but, other than D’Angelo Harrison, no shooters.
Bourgault averaged 10.9 points and shot 42 percent from beyond the arc (81-for-192) at Monroe.
“The reality is he’s an incredibly cerebral player,” said Notre Dame Prep coach Ryan Hurd, who coached Bourgault for a year. “If you’re not banking a ton on his athleticism, then he can bring a whole lot to the table as an offensive threat.”
Bourgault suffered a knee injury during his year at Notre Dame Prep and then tore his ACL during the first game of the 2010-11 season at Monroe and was forced to redshirt.
Erickson said his athleticism is now coming back.
“Marco has a real high IQ,” Erickson said. “He understands how to play. He hit 80 3’s this year at over 40 percent.
“The second half of the year he really became more of an impact player as a rebounder and penetrator into the lane.”
The signing of the junior college tandem is a big step for both St. John’s and Monroe College.
“Since we went to the national tournament three years in a row and with these two signing at St. John’s,” Erickson said, “it puts us right in the mix as a national junior college power.”
And St. John’s hopes they translate into making the Johnnies a national power once again, too.
Photos: Monroe College
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, 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.