St. John's Pursuing Chicago Forwards Jones, Cunningham, Plus Jacko & Horford | Zagsblog
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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.
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Thursday / March 23.
  • St. John’s Pursuing Chicago Forwards Jones, Cunningham, Plus Jacko & Horford

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    JonesIn an attempt to help rebuild his frontcourt, St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin has offered scholarships to uncommitted 2014 Chicago forwards Marlon Jones (pictured) and Josh Cunningham after visiting with them on Friday.

    Lou Adams, Jones’s coach at Chicago Orr, said the 6-foot-8 Jones will be in New York later this week for the Jordan Classic and that Jones would probably visit the St. John’s campus Friday morning before the Jordan games.

    “More than likely, probably Friday,” Adams told Sunday morning by phone, adding that it would be an unofficial visit. “We’re just coming down.”

    Adams said that Jones just qualified “about two months ago” and now has a slew of schools coming after him, including Tulane, Miami, South Carolina and Marquette.

    “I know he’s going down to Tulane next week and I know he’s going to Miami,” Adams said. “And I’ve been hearing rumblings about UNLV. He got a whole lot going on with him.”

    Adams compared Jones to standout Chicago bigs Jahlil Okafor (Duke) and Cliff Alexander (Kansas).

    “I know all you guys know about Cliff and Jahlil, out of the three he’s probably got more tools than all of them,” Adams said of Jones. “He can shoot the 3, he can dribble, his footwork’s better than the two of those. He can shoot the 3 better than both of them, he can shoot the mid-range better than both of them. They got more weight on him, but I would probably go with Marlon.”

    Adams said Jones enjoyed his meeting Friday with Lavin, who must replace Chris Obekpa, JaKarr Sampson, Orlando Sanchez and God’sgift Achiuwa up front.

    “He came down to visit us, he’s a real down home guy,” Adams said of Lavin. “Good hospitality, man. He made him feel warm and welcome. It was good for Marlon. He’s a real good guy.”

    Orr assistant Phil Gipson called Jones a “face-up four guy.”

    “He can handle the ball, he can shoot from 15 feet on in, he can shoot the 3 a little bit and he’s got some of the best footwork you will see on a kid his age,” Gipson said. “He’s got great footwork. He can finish strong around the basket with his left and right hand. He dunks everything that comes to him. He’s a great shot-blocker and he plays great defense. He hasn’t really tapped his potential.

    “On our team, we had him playing the five for us, but I think once he gets to a college game, he can do more things, like handle the ball more.”

    Orr played against Cunningham and Morgan Park this year in the state tournament.

    “I know Cunningham,” Adams said. “Cunningham is good. Marlon’s 6-9, Cunningham’s 6-7. Cunningham has a high motor, plays with a lot of energy. Can shoot OK.”

    Lavin also watched JUCO forward Adom Jacko of Chaffey (CA) College on Saturday.

    St. John’s has also had preliminary discussions with 6-10 Michigan transfer Jon Horford, sources told As a graduate transfer, Horford will be immediately eligible upon transferring.

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    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.