A list of forwards that SJU is involved with in 2014 needs to begin with Ghana native Ben Bentil. Bentil, a 6'8 220-pound forward from Saint Andrew's School (DE), currently checks in at 48 nationally in Scout's Top 75 in 2014. Saint Andrew's head coach, and former Hawk, Terrell Myers, recently told Scout's Evan Daniels that Temple, Saint Joseph's, La Salle, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Delaware, and Providence are the schools that have already extended offers to Bentil, with a number of high-majors actively tracking the athletic power forward. Bentil is, in all likelihood, the Hawks' top big-man target in 2014.
This next name is not a new one to Saint Joseph's fans. However, he is newly added to this list of 2014 recruits, as he recently transferred and reclassified into 2014. 6'6 wing Jared Nickens is now attending Westtown (PA) after leaving St. Patrick's (NJ). Nickens, who had been naming VCU and Saint Joseph's as his favorites, will now have an additional year to expand his game and likely see new schools enter his recruitment.
A newer name, however, is Josh Level, a 2014 wing out of Christ School (NC) and Team Loaded. Level likely caught the eyes of the SJU coaching staff at April's Pitt Jam Fest, where he had a strong series of performances. Level checks in at 6'5 and plays mostly on the wing, where he is best at driving to the basket. Level is a new name to me as well, and a player that I hope to see during the July Live Period.
The Philadelphia area has a number of impressive guards in the 2014 class, but is rather light on wings and bigs. One local forward with interest from the Hawks, however, is Imhotep Charter (PA) combo forward Basil Thompson. The 6'6 forward attended Math, Civics, and Sciences (PA) last season, but will transfer to perennial power Imhotep for his junior year. Thompson attended Saint Joseph's home game against Temple last winter, and is a player that the Hawk coaching staff will track this July.
While the Hawks are involved with so many guards in 2014, the only true big that they have been heavily linked with is Ben Bentil. For that reason, I am going to include this next name on the list. South Jersey isn't typically a hotbed of basketball talent, but that perception is changing due to players like Jahleem Montague and Tim Delaney. Another big from South Jersey is Schalick rising junior Rashaan Armstead. Armstead is around 6'8 and pushes the scale at around 240 pounds. On the AAU circuit, he plays alongside 2015 phenom Horace Spencer on the NJ Gymrats. Look for Armstead to be a player that St. Joe's gets involved with.
This list of names that SJU is involved with in 2014 is already over a dozen, and that should expand beginning next week with the July Live Period. Stayed tuned to Hawk Hill Hardwood as new names emerge and as certain players on this list begin to narrow their lists.
2014 Recruiting Targets: Part B
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