Two years ago former Utah coach Rick Majerus came out of retirement to take over the reins at St. Louis University. We wrote at the time of his hiring that one of the key attributes of his teams throughout his career was that they tend to overachieve. His teams at Utah were locks to win 20+ games and make the NCAA Tournament despite a relative paucity of elite talent (Keith Van Horn excepted). We expected a quick turnaround at SLU, but it’s been a little slower going than expected – the Billikens have posted back-to-back mediocre seasons (16-15 and 18-14) and the only newsworthy event in Majerus’ two years there was from this particular 20-point abomination. So he needs some recruits, right? His first class was strong with several three-star players (including top 150 player Brett Thompson), but his second class fell off considerably (only one three-star), so Majerus might be feeling more pressure to sign players by any means necessary.
Gary Parrish today reported that 6’11 prep center Anthony DiLoreto has been offered a scholarship by Majerus and SLU, which wouldn’t otherwise register a blip on the national radar except for the fact that DiLoreto is facing two felonies for taking part in a bank robbery last year in Wisconsin. Yeah, a bank robbery – as in, he drove the getaway car and provided the sawed-off shotgun that his 16-year old associate used to enter the Bremer Bank and steal the money. Not only that, but DiLoreto broke longstanding ‘villain code’ by leaving his companion behind when the po-po rolled up for a nearby unrelated accident. Showing Darwin-Award brilliance, DiLoreto then drove home and waited there until he was arrested several hours later. He had originally committed to Cal Poly, but the school dropped his recruitment in light of these allegations. (ed. note: this story would be much better if DiLoreto was from New Jersey)
Not Majerus and St. Louis, though. And according to Parrish, not several other coaches either (from the Big 10, Big 12, Pac-10, A10, WAC, MWC and WCC), all of whom now consider DiLoreto a mid- to high-major prospect. DiLoreto hasn’t yet overcome his legal problems, but he’s been working toward a plea bargain settlement that would presumably allow him to play ball again soon. With an opportunity to grab an improving seven-footer, coaches are lining up to take a chance on him, proving once again that unless a player is actually in prison, someone will give him a schollie if he can occasionally throw a ball through a hoop.