St. John’s made a scholarship offer to center Steven Zimmerman, Class of 2015, in September, according to Norman aka Pico of SB Nation.com. The Johnnies really need to sign him because he will be an invaluable piece to a deep March Madness run.
Zimmerman is the second-ranked recruit in ESPNs Class of 2015 Top 60. He is 6-foot-11 and he weighs 215 pounds.
Videos of his summer performance have shown that he is a versatile player. He is a very good shot blocker, three-point shooter, and ball handler for a high school junior.
The Johnnies could really use a player like him because they are typically dominated in the post against teams like Syracuse and Georgetown. The Johnnies have three players that are 6-foot-9, but only one of them can guard opposing centers.
They also have trouble scoring points in the paint because they have trouble scoring against very tall centers. Zimmerman would solve both of those problems because he can block a lot of shots and create his own shots with his ability to dribble the ball down the court.
Chris Obekpa is a shot-blocking machine, finishing last season with a NCAA Division I, leading with 4.03 blocks per game. There is only one issue with Obekpa, beside his below-average offensive game, he is entering his sophomore season.
Obekpa is already considered a good center and he could be a borderline first-round pick by the end of this season. Many players have decided to go pro before their senior season because they want to chase fame or money.
Head coach Steve Lavin has no way of knowing what Obekpa’s plans are, so he needs to prepare for the future. The biggest problem Lavin has is that he does not have anyone currently on his roster that can be as much of a game changer as Obekpa is.
Zimmerman is by no means a perfect prospect yet.
He is extremely skinny and would be dominated in the post against bigger college defenders if he does not gain more muscle mass. Zimmerman needs to bulk up and put on at least 20 more pounds of muscle by the time he graduates from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Lavin had great success recruiting when he was the coach of UCLA. He needs to try to convince Zimmerman that he could develop into a great player while getting a lot of playing time, beginning his freshman year.
Lavin can also try to convince him to commit to the Johnnies by telling him he can play in one of the most famous arenas in the US, Madison Square Garden. Many players dream of playing at MSG, but only the best players are able to dominate there.
If the Johnnies want to avoid being the laughingstock of the NCAA beginning in 2015, then they need to get a player that can be a force in the paint like Zimmerman.