Lost Bolding? No Sweat - SJU Has More Targets

Scout.com's Mike Sullivan says St. John's still has plenty of targets in the 2008 class ...

It probably came as a surprise to some in the New York City area that Melquan Bolding made a verbal commitment on his visit to Louisville this past weekend. But head coach Rick Pitino's name is quite big in this area. Pitino has tremendous roots and contacts in the area and has done a solid job in recruiting the top prospects in the New York region.

Bolding reference Pitino as being a big reason why he chose Louisville. In previous interview with this website, he spoke highly of the former Knick head coach. And Bolding praised St. John's head coach Norm Roberts too as well as the possibility of playing with point guard Malik Boothe.

Despite the commitment, St. John's and Norm Roberts will survive. There are three major prospects coming in to start next season. And a fourth -- Rob Thomas -- is expected to join the team in January of 2008.

The 2008 class in the New York area is strong too. Recently, this website profiled Kemba Walker, an outstanding guard from Rice High School in New York City. Walker has St. John's high on his list.

In addition, the big catch of the 2008 class -- Sylven Landesberg of Holy Cross High School in Flushing, New York -- also mentions the Red Storm as among the top schools on his list.

Samardo Samuels is certainly a player to watch too. Samuels, the big, inside threat from St. Benedict's in Newark, New Jersey, has a big list of schools. It's a national list for sure. But if St. John's is able to land a postseason bid, it would be a step in the right direction in convincing players like Samuels that the Red Storm program is back.

So the Bolding commitment, while a surprise that it happened so quickly on a visit, isn't the end of the world for St. John's. New York City has a wealth of basketball talent to recruit.

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