St. John’s commit Darrick Wood (Bridgton, ’12) has reopened his recruitment, according to Jeremy Bauman of Five Star Basketball.
“It was based off me wanting to make the right decision for my future, me being patient with the whole recruiting process and just putting myself in the best situation,” Wood told Five Star. “My AAU coaches and parents just told me to take it slow and make the right decision for me. Last time, I jumped into it because I thought the situation was right for me.”
Wood becomes the next in line, following JaKarr Sampson, Norvel Pelle, and Ricardo Gathers, to choose to keep their options open, after initially choosing the Red Storm.
Amir Garrett, who joined St. John’s in December, played alongside Wood for a semester at Bridgton Academy in Maine.
“Me and Amir are cool. We played a few games together and we have that St. John’s bond,” Wood told JohnnyJungle.com in October.
In that same interview, Wood expanded on his relationship with Ricardo Gathers, saying the two had become friends and communicated through text message on a semi-regular basis.
The underlying theme to the recent decommitments of Sampson, Pelle, Gathers, and now Wood, along with the transfer of sophomore guard Nurideen Lindsey, are lingering questions about head coach Steve Lavin’s health and how soon he will return to the sidelines.
Many recruits emphasized the connection to the coaching staff as a reason for choosing St. John’s, so Lavin’s absence has made for a reassessment of their options.
“My big concern was my mom being comfortable with where I was going and St. John’s felt like one big family and they welcomed me in,” Wood told JohnnyJungle.com, in October.
Wood transferred from the embattled NIA Prep before the start of the 2011-12, following the ill fates of two graduated teammates, as they tried to pass the NCAA Clearinghouse.
Academics may also have been in question and contributed to Wood’s decommitment.
But in October, his new coach, Whit Lesure, had nothing but good things to say about his guard.
“He’s off to a good start. He’s adjusted fine academically,” Lesure told JohnnyJungle.com. “He’s a good kid, a ‘yes sir, no sir’ kind of guy. Teachers and advisors really like him.
“On the court, he flips the switch and he’s emotional and competitive, which are two great things to have as an athlete. In addition to athleticism and bounce, he has a great motor.”
Before his commitment to St. John’s, Wood was considering Oklahoma State, Seton Hall, Virginia Tech, and South Florida.