NCAA rules Marco Bourgault eligible

NEW YORK -- Steve Lavin has a new weapon to add to his rotation at St. John's.

Marco Bourgault, a 6-foot-6 swingman originally from France, has officially been cleared to play for the Red Storm this season. He was held out of the team's first two games, while the NCAA reviewed his eligibility status.

Bourgault will be classified as a junior, and have two years of eligibility. He spent last year at Monroe College, a junior college in New York.

St. John's is still waiting to hear the fate of 6-9 power forward Orlando Sanchez, a teammate of Bourgault's at Monroe, who is also having his eligibility status reviewed.

But adding Bourgault is a definite boost. Lavin has essentially been using a seven-man rotation thus far, with all seven being freshmen or sophomores.

Also, the team was lacking in terms of perimeter shooting, besides star guard D'Angelo Harrison. That's Bourgault's specialty -- he made 42.1 percent of his 3-point attempts for Monroe last year, placing him among the top 30 junior college 3-point shooters in the country.

Despite its youth and short bench, St. John's is off to a strong start at 2-0. The Red Storm opened the season with a 77-74 home win over Detroit, which is expected to contend for the Horizon League title this year. Then on Thursday, in the opening round of the Charleston Classic, St. John's defeated the host school, College of Charleston, 64-53.

St. John's plays Murray State in the semifinals Friday. Bourgault entered the game midway through the first half.