Ricardo Gathers decommits from St. John's

The signing period officially begins at 12:01 a.m. but already a big fish wiggled off the hook. Over the weekend, power forward Ricardo Gathers (LaPlace, La./Reserve Christian) rescinded his commitment to St. John’s.

Gathers, one of the nation’s best rebounders, is ESPNU’s No. 30 overall prospect in the Class of 2012. He committed to the Red Storm after considering Texas, Arizona, Syracuse, Ohio State, Oregon, Cal and LSU.

With the Red Storm, according to his brother Greg Gathers, the big man wasn’t comfortable enough to sign early.

“With him going away to New York he wants to be 100 percent sure,” Gathers said of his brother’s decision. “Back in August, that was before the Big East situation, Lavin’s health and then the ineligible players ... you want to be 100 percent sure with leaving Louisiana and going to New York. At this point in time he wasn't totally sure about his decision in going to New York.”

With the decision to decommit in the rearview mirror the future is clear: Gathers will take his recruitment into the spring period. He’ll have four official visits remaining since he only tripped to St. John’s. His brother said the Red Storm remain at the top of the list and St. John’s gave every indication that it intends on continuing to pursue Gathers.

So far, all’s quiet. “He really hasn't been talking to anybody else,” Greg said. “At this point in time it's a re-evaluation thing.”

This is one of the first times we’ve noticed conference realignment coming into play regarding the Big East. “With the Big East kind of dismantling and everything he's wondering where the Big East is going to be at,” Greg said.

Gathers’ family has roots on the East Coast, West Coast and in Louisiana. The home state Tigers will be a program that receives more attention, so will places like Cal and Oregon, two schools that were on his previous list. Taking it a step further, go ahead and mix in every Top 25 program that needs a big man.

Gathers has numerous skills. He’s chiseled and his transition to college basketball will be seamless because of his size and penchant for rebounding. He is a hulking presence and intimidating force in the paint. By opening his recruitment at this time, he’ll afford himself the highest degree of attention. He is one of the highest ranked available big men in the country.