Weekend Round-Up

It was a busy weekend on the travel circuit, as both Under Armour and Nike were back after a brief hiatus. Inside, we take a look at how St. Joe's 2016 commit Charles Brown played, along with insight into the Hawks' other top 2016 targets.

Earlier this month, St. Joe's got its first 2016 commitment, when 6'6 Philly Pride wing ended his recruitment just as things were starting to intensify. After the way he has played the last two Under Armour sessions, that's probably a good thing for the Hawks. Brown put together two terrific outings this weekend in New York. On the weekend, over four games, Brown was 10-16 from three, bringing his numbers for the spring up to 22-49 (45%). Brown's marquee outing was Saturday afternoon in a win over We R-1, where he shot 5-5 from three en route to 19 points. Charles picked the Hawks over offers from VCU, URI, Drexel, George Mason, James Madison, Hofstra, and more. At 6'6, long, and athletic, Brown has tremendous upside as both a shooter and a slasher. It appears to be a good thing that the Hawks locked him up when they did.

St. Joe's top remaining target could very well be Brown's teammate and friend DeAndre Hunter. The 6'7 combo forward holds offers from the Hawks, Miami, Temple, Oklahoma State, and more. Hunter didn't shoot the ball particularly well this weekend for Philly Pride, but still had two terrific outings. That's in large part due to his free throw shooting. Hunter got to the line with regularity this weekend, and went 27-31 from the stripe. His best outing was a 20-point outburst on Friday night in a win over recent UConn pledge Mamadou Diarra and the NY Jayhawks.

St. Joe's is looking to still sign another guard in the 2016 class, and two names that have popped up with some regularity are DC Blue Devils combo guard Jeff Dowtin and PSA Cardinals shooting guard Christian Vital. Neither have put together eye-popping seasons thus far this spring, but both probably put together their best string of games this weekend. Dowtin is overshadowed playing alongside elite 2016 wing Markelle Fultz. Still, he played well this weekend, especially in a win over We R-1, where he had 13 points and 5 rebounds. Vital, a 6'3 guard at St. Thomas More (where Charles Brown will prep next year), averaged a shade over 13 points per game in four games on the EYBL this weekend. More importantly, he seemed to have found his stroke, which is his calling card. Christian went 9-18 from deep over the weekend. Both Vital and Dowtin are very much in play for the Hawks in 2016 to take that last guard scholarship.

One player who has really emerged this month, both on a national scale and also in terms of priority as a St. Joe's recruit, is 6'8 235-pound BABC post Kevin Marfo. Marfo has listed the Hawks as one of the five schools recruiting him the hardest, as a school that he would like to visit. He was sensational this weekend, especially on the boards. Marfo averaged 10.6 points and 12.8 rebounds per game this weekend on the EYBL. Marfo seems to be emerging as a priority for the Hawks, and his play this spring has certainly caught the eye of a number of Atlantic 10, Big East, and Big 12 programs.

Another post that the Hawks are seemingly targeting had a strong weekend as well. 6'9 St. Anthony's (NJ) and Playaz Basketball Club post Taurean Thompson was offered by the Hawks earlier this month. He also has Temple, Rutgers, Seton Hall, and more involved, with schools like Syracuse and SMU now getting involved. Thompson had a 20-point, 8-rebound outing Friday in a tight loss to Florida's Each 1 Teach 1. He followed that up with 12 and 7 against CIA Bounce. Kevin Marfo, Taurean Thompson, and Dylan Painter seem to be separating themselves as the Hawks' top three targets in the post. Painter missed this weekend with Team Final due to a minor ankle injury.

That's it for this weekend's round-up. On Friday, I will be at the All City Classic at Girard College, which features 2016 Hawk commit Charles Brown, along with DeAndre Hunter. 2017 offers Quade Green, Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, and Eric Ayala are also slated to play.

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