Rick Pitino has landed a possible future NBA draft pick to install on his first St. John’s team.
The new Red Storm coach got a signature from a signature player when University of Pennsylvania transfer Jordan Dingle — last season’s Ivy League Player of the Year — signed with the school on Friday.
Dingle, a Valley Stream product who attended Lawrence Woodmere Academy before transferring to Blair Academy (N.J.) for his last two high school seasons, put his name in for the 2023 NBA Draft. He has been working out for NBA teams but has the option to withdraw his name by the end of the month and return to college.
Dingle is a 6-3 combo guard who was the nation’s second-leading scorer with a 23.4-point average for the Quakers last season. He shot 35.6% on three-point attempts and averaged 3.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
“Really excited to have Jordan Dingle joining the Red Storm,” Pitino said in the school announcement of the signing. “His goals are plain and simple: As a loyal New Yorker, help bring back St. John’s to basketball royalty, and then become a [NBA] First Round draft choice. I’m all in on making that happen.”
Pitino has been reconstructing the St. John’s roster since he was announced as the new coach at a Madison Square Garden news conference in March. Nine scholarship players from the 2022-23 Red Storm team put their names into the NCAA transfer portal and only two are remaining with St. John’s, star center Joel Soriano and reserve big man Drissa Traore.
Pitino and his staff have recruited the portal as well as the high school ranks and generated a steady stream of quality players. Among the nine transfers the Red Storm are bringing in are 6-6 Glenn Taylor Jr. from Oregon State, 6-4 Nahiem Alleyne from UConn, 6-7 RJ Luis from UMass, 6-5 Sean Conway from VMI and 6-4 Daniss Jenkins and 6-8 Quinn Slazinski, who both followed Pitino from Iona. The Red Storm also are bringing in 6-7 California forward Brady Dunlap from the high school ranks.
Dingle, however, is the highest-profile addition yet.
The numbers accumulated by the two-time Ivy League selection are not a reflection of playing against only Ivy League schools. He averaged 27.3 points in non-conference games against Villanova, Missouri, Temple, La Salle, Colgate and Saint Joseph’s.
Dingle’s father, Dana Dingle, was a 1992 New York Newsday All-City selection from St. Raymond’s in the Bronx and played on John Calipari’s UMass team that reached the 1996 NCAA Final Four. Calipari’s Kentucky program reportedly was one of Dingle’s options before he selected St. John’s.