St. John’s lands much-needed commitment from a top 40 guard

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Steve Lavin landed a critical recruit on Monday morning, as Brandon Sampson announced that he had made his commitment to St. John’s.

Sampson is the No. 40 recruit in the country, according to Rivals, and the kind of athletic back court weapon that will fit in perfectly with the uptempo, pressing style of play that Lavin employs.

“A talented scoring guard who can help replace the Red Storm’s departing seniors, Sampson has a knack for creating shots and making contested looks,” NBCSports.com recruiting analyst Scott Phillips said. “Landing a four-star guard in a hotly-contested national recruitment is a great sign for Steve Lavin after St. John’s missed on some marquee players in the last few classes.”

Lavin really needed to get this commitment from Sampson. Four of the top six players for the Johnnies are seniors, and the two that aren’t — Chris Obekpa and Rysheed Jordan — could both end up declaring for the NBA Draft this spring. Lavin prioritized three recruits in this class, and while he missed on Isaiah Briscoe, he still has a shot to add Cheick Diallo to the mix.

But he desperately needed some recruiting momentum, and he got it with Sampson’s commitment.