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St. John’s adds a three-star guard in the 2015 class

Steve Lavin

St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin watches from the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Butler, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, in Indianapolis. St. John’s won 69-52. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)


St. John’s found themselves undermanned and outgunned on Saturday in a Big East road loss at Villanova, but the Red Storm picked up some positive news on the recruiting trail. With the loss of senior guards like D’Angelo Harrison, Phil Greene and Jamal Branch next season, head coach Steve Lavin picked up a solid commitment from three-star guard and Arizona native Sammy Barnes-Thompkins.

Regarded as a three-star prospect, according to Rivals, Barnes-Thompkins is the son of former Iowa State guard Gary Thompkins. The commitment of Barnes-Thompkins to St. John’s was confirmed by Arizona Magic coach Kenny Mullins.

The 6-foot-2 Barnes-Thompkins is a nice, late pick-up for the Johnnies at this stage because he can hit shots from the perimeter and he is also physically strong enough to bull some weaker guards. He impressed at the Pangos All-American Camp last summer and picked up steady high-major interest throughout his senior season.

Lavin and St. John’s might have felt the need to close out the recruitment of Barnes-Thompkins because Iowa State was recently getting involved. Given the family history at the school -- Gary Thompkins is third all-time in assists at Iowa State -- that could have been a tough recruiting battle for the Red Storm if Fred Hoiberg decided to get more serious with his interest.

Joining Barnes-Thompkins in St. John’s Class of 2015 is Philadelphia native Samir Doughty and Louisiana native Brandon Sampson. All three guards should help stabilize the depth at the position for the Red Storm next season after the loss of so many experienced players.

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