The two biggest names relative to Saint Joseph's recruiting right now are Paschal Chukwu and Ben Bentil. Chukwu, a 7'1 center from Fairfield Prep (CT), is playing this July with the Connecticut Basketball Club. UConn, Providence, and St. Joe's are three of the main schools involved in Paschal's recruitment. The 49th ranked player in the country in his class, Paschal Chukwu would be a nearly program-changing recruit for the Hawks.
Ben Bentil, a 6'8 220-pound power forward from St. Andrew's (DE), checks in just one spot below Chukwu, at 50th nationally, in Scout's updated top 100 in 2014. Bentil has long been arguably Saint Joseph's top overall recruiting target in this class. Ben is coached by former Hawk Terrell Myers both for high school and on the AAU circuit with We R-1. Adam Finkelstein of ESPN reported yesterday that Georgetown was recruiting him the hardest, and that "Miami, St. Joe's, UCLA, and Rutgers" are also in good shape. If St. Joe's somehow pulled off a class that included Bentil and Chukwu, two top 50 bigs, it would instantly give the Hawks a nationally ranked recruiting class.
While Chukwu and Bentil are the biggest names on this list, they are certainly not the only high-quality frontcourt players being pursued by the SJU coaching staff.
To date, the Hawks have only had one official visitor from the class of 2014. That visitor, 6'8 forward Zane Waterman, made the trip north from Fayetteville, North Carolina, roughly two weeks ago. Waterman, a stretch 4, who can shoot the ball well from deep, has seen his recruitment skyrocket since a strong spring with Team Loaded. Zane is from the same hometown as current Hawk point guard Chris Wilson. At the end of June, Justin Byerly reported that Waterman has a top 5 of Charlotte, St. Joe's, Richmond, Manhattan, and Cincinnati. The Hawks have offered the stretch 4, and will be monitoring him closely with Team Loaded in July.
The Saint Joseph's coaching staff will likely be following Team Loaded especially closely this month, as they have two offers out to forwards on the North Carolina-based AAU program. 6'6 jumping-jack Markell Lodge, who also holds a Hawk offer, runs with Waterman on Team Loaded. Lodge holds offers from the likes of Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, and Saint Joseph's. Like Chukwu, Bentil, and Waterman, Lodge would be a major coup for the Hawk coaching staff. His physique and athleticism are somewhat reminiscent of current Hawk Ron Roberts.
A fifth frontcourt target for the Hawks is 6'8 Berks Catholic (PA) power forward Nana Foulland. Foulland runs with Team Final on the AAU circuit, and will be playing with them during the first live period at the Peach Jam. At 6'8, Foulland rebounds the ball very well and has a surprisingly soft touch around the bucket, along with some post moves. He's primarily being recruited at the mid-major level, and the Hawks have yet to offer. He did visit Hawk Hill in the spring, however.
The sixth name is a familiar one to anyone that has followed Hawk recruiting over the past year. 6'6 Salisbury (CT) forward Samuel Dingba took an official visit to Hawk Hill last year, as a member of the class of 2013. Dingba then reclassified to 2014, but still has the Hawks near the top of his list. Salisbury head coach Jeff Ruskin told Hawk Hill Hardwood in May that Sam "has narrowed his choices down to, in no particular order, Saint Joseph's, Boston University, and Quinnipiac." Dingba is a long, high-motor, athletic, slightly-undersized power forward. He runs with the Westchester Hawks on the AAU circuit.
Martin Geben, a 6'8 power forward from St. Maria Goretti (MD), has seen his stock explode over the past several months. The native of Lithuania visited Hawk Hill in the spring, but is now likely a major reach. Schools such as Notre Dame, Virginia, Temple, Villanova, and Maryland offered Geben after a terrific April with Team Takeover. The Hawk coaches are still actively recruiting wing guard James Palmer from Team Takeover, as well as our next name, so they will likely still keep tabs on Geben. It's fairly safe to say that his ship, however, has sailed.
Quadree Smith is AAU teammates with James Palmer, Martin Geben, Georgetown-commit Tre Campbell, and many more on Team Takeover. Many Atlantic 10 schools, including St. Joe's, are looking at the 6'8 280-pound power forward. The Hawks offered Quadree back in April. Saint Louis is one of the most recent schools to get involved with the super-sized forward.
These are eight of the main names to remember over the course of July as you follow the live periods. There are a few other names worth storing in the back of your mind as well, as they have been linked to the Hawks as well.
During the last week in June, 6'6 Newark East Side (NJ) combo forward Ismael Sanogo took an unofficial visit to Hawk Hill. Sanogo, who runs with the NJ Roadrunners, does not hold an offer from the Hawks, but is receiving strong interest. At the moment, per his AAU coach, Uron Hawkins, he has offers from Seton Hall, George Mason, Buffalo, Delaware, and Penn. St. Joe's, West Virginia, Creighton, UConn, Duquesne, La Salle, Wagner, and Stony Brook, his coach told Hawk Hill Hardwood.
Another forward who visited St. Joe's in June was 6'9 Hyde (CT) power forward Kenny Grant. Grant, who will spend July with his Sports U teammates, visited St. Joe's, Drexel, and Rider at the end of June. Grant has great size at the 4 spot, both in terms of height and muscle. UMass is another Atlantic 10 school interested, with Temple reportedly also keeping tabs.
6'10 Rickards (FL) power forward Michael Gilmore is a high-major recruiting target, but has listed Saint Joseph's as one of the schools involved. Gilmore plays with Each 1 Teach 1 on the circuit, and therefore will also be down at the Peach Jam next week.
6'9 Greenbriar (WV) forward Obi Romeo has also claimed interest from the Hawks. Romeo currently holds one scholarship offer, from Longwood. Many mid-majors will be tracking him this month, and St. Joe's appears to be a school that will be doing the same. He runs with East Coast Fusion.
Last summer, Rodney Williams became a mid-major priority recruit, before ultimately signing with the Drexel Dragons. 6'8 Irmo (SC) forward Javis Howard is seeing his recruitment follow a similar path. Buffalo, Murray State, James Madison, Appalachian State, and Hofstra are among his nearly two-dozen offers. St. Joe's has expressed interest in the Upward Stars big man.
Lastly, Point Pleasant Beach (NJ) rising senior forward Dominique Uhl is a name for Hawk fans to remember. Uhl is likely a high-major recruit, as he holds offers from the likes of Boston College and Temple. At 6'8, Uhl is capable of playing both forward spots. He is a final name to track this month.
With the first July Live Period now only three days away, Hawk Hill Hardwood has provided you with a list of nearly two-dozen names to remember and track this month. With the Hawks looking to sign four or five players in this class, the list of involved players is ever-changing, with names being added and subtracted.
Hawk Hill Hardwood will be at the Reebok Challenge Breakout as well as several Hoop Group events during the month's three live periods. Check back daily for updates, interviews, and more.
2014 frontcourt targets getting July looks
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