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Recruiting rundown: St. John’s back on the board with Felix Balamou

St. John's v Texas A&M

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 18: Head coach Steve Lavin of the St. John’s Red Storm reacts against the Texas A&M Aggies during the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches Vs Cancer at Madison Square Garden on November 18, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

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Save for the addition of Texas A&M transfer Jamal Branch, good news regarding St. John’s recruiting has been far and few between in recent months. There are three former commitments in their 2012 recruiting class in Ricardo Gathers (Baylor), Jevon Thomas (Dayton) and Darrick Wood (uncommitted), and until Monday, there weren’t any recruits in the fray outside of Branch, for a team that realistically needs a half-dozen prospects for depth’s sake alone.

On Monday, St. John’s landed a pledge from uber-athlete Felix Balamou, a 6-3 wing from Our Savior New American (N.Y.). Additionally, St. John’s basketball fans will note that Balamou is the high school teammate of 6-9 center Christopher Obekpa, a highly regarded defensive post prospect who is still uncommitted.

While Balamou and Obekpa aren’t a “package deal”, St. John’s was already in the mix for Obekpa, and adding his teammate won’t hurt. Balamou is a solid grab on his own merits, as he has freakish athleticism, and will bring high-flying theatrics to fast breaks and transition offense.

Also, with polish Balamou could be stellar on defense. He’ll need an upgrade of his guard skills to contribute at the position his size dictates he’s best suited for, shooting guard, but Balamou makes sense to a team that needs names to fill out next year’s roster.

Kellon Hassenstab runs Follow him on Twitter @hoopniks.