9/28 News and Notes

One of St. Joe's top remaining 2015 recruiting targets added a fifth school to his final list, and it's a fellow Atlantic 10 member. Get the latest on Ernest Aflakpui, as well as updates on other 2015 and 2016 targets inside.

6'9 Archbishop Carroll (PA) post Ernest Aflakpui took his fourth, and originally his final, official visit this past week to Rhode Island. Aflakpui, who ran with We R-1 on the AAU circuit, had previously tripped to St. Joe's, Temple, and VCU. Aflakpui was originally going to visit URI and then, shortly after, make his college decision.

That all changed last week when Aflakpui decided to take his fifth official visit. He will be making a journey west to fellow Atlantic 10 member Saint Louis, as first reported by Scout's Saint Louis beat writer Ben Weixlman and Zagsblog's Adam Zagoria. According to both, he will likely make his official visit to Saint Louis next weekend, October 3-5.

For a while, Aflakpui was considered a 50-50 split between the Hawks and Owls, but with five teams now seemingly heavily in the mix, this recruitment is impossible to predict. Throughout the entire process, he has kept everything close to the vest. I wouldn't expect that to change in the weeks leading up to a decision.

Aside from Aflakpui, there is really only one other main name floating around out there in 2015. 6'8 Bergen Catholic (NJ) skilled forward Pierfrancesco Oliva visited St. Joe's back on September 12th. Last week, Oliva picked up offers from Marist, Saint Bonaventure, and Elon. Per a source close to Oliva's recruitment, he is "leaning toward the Hawks." That same source was unsure if Oliva would be taking any other visits, but made it seem like St. Joe's was absolutely in a good position with him.

While the coaching staff is still working on the 2015 class, they are putting in heavy early work in 2016 as well. One position that seems to be a priority in 2016 is the wing. St. Joe's has already offered the likes of Lamar Stevens and Kodye Pugh, as well as another local forward. 6'6 Friends' Central (PA) wing DeAndre Hunter was offered by St. Joe's last spring, and was then visited by Phil Martelli and Penn State's Pat Chambers last week. Hunter told The Philadelphia Inquirer's Matt Breen over the weekend that he felt that Maryland and Penn State were the two schools working him the hardest.

We are now under two weeks away from the beginning of the official start of practice. At the moment, the Hawks are getting team work in on Mondays and Fridays, in the afternoon. That will change shortly when the official start of practice kicks off. As soon as that happens, I will have a full schedule uploaded here. Once details are finalized for SJU's version of Midnight Madness, I will post that here as well. And, as soon as practice kicks off, I will begin my annual Player Profile series, which I have done the past two seasons. I will profile each player, starting with the freshmen. That will, again, kick off when practice begins.

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