By Bill Paterson
It may be spring sports season but this is the hot an heavy time for high school basketball and football recruiting.
One of the biggest area stories is that of Remi Barry, the international student from France via Florida who was not allowed by the CIF to play basketball this past season at Del Oro High School.
The New York Daily News reported Thursday that the 6-foot-7 Barry is interested in St. John's and new coach Steve Lavin.
But St. John's reportedly is just one of several major powers trying to land the forward.
UCLA, Arizona State, Cal, Washington and Colorado also are in the mix, according to Daily News sportswriter Roger Rubin.
He quotes one Eastern Conference NBA scout as saying, "he is going to end up in the NBA - it's almost a lock judging from now. There's a lot of talent that hasn't been polished. But if it were, he could be a solid guy in the league."
Barry isn't the only one making news on the spring recruiting circuit:
Bee Player of the Year Josiah Turner of Sacramento High impressed with plenty of highlight-reel plays (they are all over You Tube) during a Nike-sponsored three-day event in Hampton, Va., earlier this month.
Turner, viewed as the top West Coast point guard prospect of 2011, played with a group of Bay Area stars that included junior Jabari Brown of Oakland High and sophomore Brandon Ashley of Bishop O'Dowd of Oakland.
UTEP and new coach Tim Floyd appear to be seriously interested in both Sheldon juniors Darius Nelson and Ramon Eaton, who performed with Los Angeles-based Team Odom at the Pangos Sweet 16 in Long Beach on Saturday and Sunday.
Both Sheldon High juniors are impressed with Floyd.
"Tim Floyd is an awesome coach," Nelson told Rivals.com. "He coached in the NBA for a couple years, and he knows what he's doing."
Nelson had 22 points in a semifinal loss to eventual champion Compton Magic.
Folsom High two-sport standout Kori Babineaux had told NorCalPreps.com that he plans to focus on football this coming season and won't play on the basketball club circuit this summer.
The 6-foot-4 wide receiver says he already has received football offers from Cal Poly, Sacramento State, San Diego State and Wyoming. But he'd love to play in the Pac-10, with Oregon a strong favorite.
"The city is great," he told NorCalPreps' Douglas Benton. "The offense runs a spread like at my high school. They can put people in the (NFL), too."