Early Look at 2016 recruiting targets

Tonight, I take an early look into the 2016 recruiting class as it pertains to St. Joe’s. With many variables at play, this is an early look at the Hawks’ targets in 2016. The first in a two-part installment, we look tonight at guards and wings.

Following this season, St. Joe’s will lose guards Chris Wilson and Evan Maschmeyer to graduation. The situation with current senior forward Papa Ndao, who is sitting out the season with a medical condition, is also still up in the air. He could be back next year if he is medically cleared to play, but nothing there is set in stone yet. The Hawks will welcome two Philadelphia guards into the fold, with St. Joe’s Prep senior Chris Clover and Neumann-Goretti point guard Lamarr Kimble signed and ready to go. The third member of SJU’s 2015 recruiting class is 6’8 skilled forward Pierfrancesco Oliva, from Bergen Catholic.

After next year, forwards Aaron Brown and Isaiah Miles will graduate, leaving two available spots in the frontcourt. There is also the very real possibility that current sophomore swingman DeAndre Bembry doesn’t play all four years on Hawk Hill. NBA scouts have been frequent visitors to St. Joe’s this season, so it is a realistic possibility that the SJU coaching staff could also be looking to help replace Bembry following next season as well.

The 2016-2017 St. Joe’s roster, as currently constructed, would look like this. You will have sophomore Lamarr Kimble and junior Shavar Newkirk as your point guards. On the wing, you will have DeAndre Bembry as a senior (?), James Demery as a junior, and Chris Clover as a sophomore. At the four, you will have sophomores Markell Lodge and Pierfrancesco Oliva, then at the five, senior Javon Baumann and juniors Jai Williams and Obi Romeo. That’s ten scholarship players, as things currently stand.

In theory, that leaves the Saint Joseph’s coaching staff three scholarships to play with in the 2016 class. Looking at the roster, it would appear that a scoring wing, another big man, and possibly another guard would make sense. While the Hawks have yet to sign a player in the 2016 class, there are a number of names floating around. Tonight, we begin a two-part series previewing the 2016 class. It’s a critical class for the coaching staff.

In this first part of this series, the focus will be on guards and wings. The biggest name here is also therefore one of the biggest reaches. In June, the Hawk coaching staff extended an offer to 6’7 Friends’ Central (PA) combo forward DeAndre Hunter. Hunter is a skilled, skinny, athletic combo forward with good ball skills. In addition to St. Joe’s, he has offers and interest from the likes of Temple, Penn State, NC State, Maryland, La Salle, Oklahoma State, and more. Hunter plays his AAU ball for Philly Pride, which is the same program Chris Clover came from. Another wing in the “probably too good” mold is Haverford School’s Lamar Stevens. While Hunter is the more skilled player, Stevens is the physical specimen. Right around 6’5, Stevens already has a college-ready body. He has offers from Temple, Villanova, Indiana, St. Joe’s, and more. Those two players, especially Stevens, would appear to be longshots for the Hawks despite the offers.

Over the last couple years, St. Joe’s has heavily recruited the DC metro area, with varying degrees of success. The Hawks landed Isaiah Miles in the 2012 recruiting class, then went hard after Ahmad Fields and Tevon Saddler in 2013, ultimately missing on both. The Hawks are involved with a couple guards from the region in 2016. Earlier this winter, reports surfaced that the Hawks offered 6’3 combo guard Jeff Dowtin, from Bishop McNamara. Phil Martelli has made the drive down to McNamara this winter as have assistant coaches, on multiple occasions. Winthrop, Florida Gulf Coast, Boston University, and Rice are among the other schools involved with Dowtin.

Another DC/Baltimore area offer in the backcourt is Boys’ Latin (MD) wing forward Kodye Pugh. Pugh is a 6’7, incredibly skinny wing who can really score the ball. Pugh plays his AAU ball with We R-1 and holds a number of high-major offers. Like Dowtin, he is a great student as well. Offers for Pugh include Georgetown, Richmond, Northwestern, Richmond, St. Joe’s, Virginia Tech and many more. There is a good chance that Pugh, like Stevens and Hunter, fit into that category of being a level higher than the Hawks.

While Dowtin and Pugh hold offers from the St. Joe’s coaching staff, another player from that region is currently being evaluated. 6’3 DeMatha shooting guard Nate Darling has yet to pick up an offer from the Hawks, but his is a name to remember. A sweet-shooting native of Canada, Darling’s recruitment is picking up steam by the day. Per his high school coach, NC State, Wake Forest, Notre Dame, Nebraska, and more are all jumping into his recruitment along with the Hawks. He is exactly the type of shooter St. Joe’s, and many other schools, could use in 2016.

Lamar Stevens, DeAndre Hunter, Kodye Pugh, Nate Darling, and Jeff Dowtin are just five names on the SJU radar in 2015, and all are from within roughly two hours of Hawk Hill. It is a really strong recruiting class in the region, with New Jersey, as always, loaded. SJU has had great success in the Garden State recently, with sophomore DeAndre Bembry a product of The Patrick School. Incoming freshman Pierfrancesco Oliva is another North Jersey product, out of Bergen Catholic. St. Joe’s is actively involved with at least three 2016 guards out of New Jersey.

St. Anthony combo guard Jagan Mosely is a name to remember. The hyper-athletic 6’3 guard is a high-character, high-academic player who, to be honest, is probably not being recruited where he should be. Most of his offers and interest to date are of the Ivy and Patriot variety. That seems to be changing though, as reports surfaced recently that Louisville is now in the mix. Temple and St. Joe’s are involved out of the Big 5.

6’1-6’2 Trenton Catholic combo guard Myles Powell is another shooter with a Hawk offer. A bit undersized at the two, Powell is, to put it simply, a knockdown shooter. He holds an offer from the Hawks and seems to be a fairly realistic target in 2016. Of all the names mentioned so far, he and Dowtin would appear to be the most realistic targets. Powell played at Medford Tech earlier in his high school career before transferring to Trenton Catholic and reclassifying to 2016.

The third NJ name to remember is St. Joe’s-Metuchen’s Breein Tyree. Tyree is the younger cousin of former New York Giant David Tyree. A tremendous athlete, Tyree has an offer from SJU. He also holds offers and interest from the likes of UMass, Iowa State, Temple, La Salle, Richmond, USC, Monmouth, and more.

DeAndre Hunter, Lamar Stevens, Jeff Dowtin, Kodye Pugh, Nate Darling, Myles Powell, Breein Tyree, and Jagan Mosely are just eight SJU targets in 2016. I will have the second installment in this early preview up on Wednesday.

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