St. John's signs three top players

NEW YORK -- St. John's and new coach Steve Lavin have officially added three players to their roster beginning in the 2011-12 season.

Jakarr Sampson, Maurice Harkless and D'Angelo Harrison -- all ranked in the ESPNU 100 of top high school seniors in the nation -- signed and submitted their national letters of intent on Wednesday, the first day of college basketball's early signing period.

"This class, which will become one of the largest signed in collegiate basketball, comprises the foundation of the St. John's program moving forward," Lavin said in a statement released by the school. "The arrival of the 2010-11 class, along with an elite returning talent in Dwayne Polee II, is the core group that will carry the Johnnies into the future."

St. John's signed another player as well -- junior college freshman Nurideen Lindsey, who is not in the ESPNU 100. The team also received a verbal commitment from high school senior Dom Pointer. Lavin has 10 scholarships available to give out for next season, and St. John's is in the mix for several other players.

Sampson -- a 6-foot-7, 190-pound small forward from Akron, Ohio -- is the No. 32 high school senior in the country, as ranked by the ESPNU 100.

"Jakarr is a long, athletic, skilled basketball player," Lavin said. "He has the ability to influence the game at both ends of the floor."

Harkless -- a 6-8, 190-pound small forward from Queens -- is rated the No. 41 high school senior in America.

"Maurice is the best player in New York City," Lavin said. "He is an excellent athlete, highly-skilled and versatile enough to contribute at multiple positions."

Harrison -- a 6-3, 186-pound shooting guard from Sugar Land, Texas -- is ranked the No. 58 high school senior in the country.

"D'Angelo is a dynamic combination guard," said Lavin. "He is a prolific scorer and clearly one of the best shooters in the nation."

Lindsey -- a 6-3, 185-pound guard from Philadelphia -- was a prolific scorer in the Philadelphia public school league, and is currently averaging 28 points per game in his first season at Redlands Community College in El Reno, Okla. He will have three years of eligibility with the Red Storm.

"Nuri is a unique talent," Lavin said. "He possesses an excellent basketball intellect, tremendous point guard skills and an ability to put up big numbers offensively."

Kieran Darcy covers college sports for ESPNNewYork.com.