5/22 News and Notes

It’s been an incredibly busy month-plus on Hawk Hill, as St. Joe’s has landed two 2016 commitments, an early 2017 pledge, and had two players participate in the NBA draft combine. Get fully up to date on recent happenings, plus a look ahead, inside.

Over the last month-and-a-half, St. Joe’s has secured commitments from 2016 Chicago wing Nick Robinson, 2016 Illinois combo forward Lorenzo Edwards, and 2017 Manheim Central (PA) stretch forward Taylor Funk. The Hawk coaching staff has clearly capitalized on their successful 2015-2016 campaign, one that saw them go 28-8, win the Atlantic 10 tournament, and win their opening round game of the NCAA tournament.

With these three players now in the fold, the Hawk coaching staff can focus in July on their one remaining 2017 scholarship while also getting off to an early start on 2018 recruiting. In 2018, the staff will be looking to replace point guard Shavar Newkirk and wing James Demery.

In 2017, some of the main names of interest appear to be Maret School (DC) post Luka Garza, Virginia Academy (VA) post Ejike Obinna, Bishop McNamara (DC) guard Jamir Moultrie, Blair Academy (NJ) guard Matt Turner, Ripon (WI) shooter Luke Loewe, Gonzaga (DC) wing Eddie Scott, Poly (MD) wing De’Vondre Perry, and a few others. These are among the names to keep a close eye on in the July live periods.

Of course, as of now, the staff has just one scholarship left for this class. The fact that St. Joe’s was able to secure an early commitment from Taylor Funk was beneficial for a number of reasons. His early pledge is not totally dissimilar from that of Charles Brown last year. Brown committed to St. Joe’s last May then proceeded to turn in a sensational July. Had Brown not committed early, he would have seen his stock explode. It’s possible that Funk’s situation this July mirrors that. Yesterday in a game at Hoop Group headquarters, the 6’8 Funk went 6/8 from three in a blowout win. His ability to shoot from deep should help the Hawks right off the bat. That early commitment, as I mentioned above, also allows the Hawk coaching staff to really focus in on getting the best available player in 2017 then get after the 2018 class.

Last week, St. Joe’s was represented at the NBA draft combine by DeAndre Bembry and Isaiah Miles. Bembry and Miles both received invites and both turned in impressive performances. Bembry in particular has seen his stock really rise as a result of last week’s performances and interviews. Draft Express has DeAndre going 30th to Golden State, while CBS Sports’ Sam Vecenie has Bembry going 21st to the Atlanta Hawks. Most, if not all, mock drafts have Dre going somewhere between 20 and 30, getting him a guaranteed contract and possibly a spot on a playoff contender.

While DeAndre Bembry is unquestionably the hotter name, Isaiah Miles has also parlayed a strong combine into opportunities. Per Jessica Camerato of Comcast Sports Net, Miles has already worked out for the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, and Brooklyn Nets. He also has workouts scheduled for Houston, Dallas, the Knicks, Milwaukee, Utah, and the San Antonio Spurs. The NBA draft is June 23rd. DeAndre Bembry appears likely to be drafted in the second half of the first round, while Isaiah Miles has a shot to maybe impress a team late 2nd round during these upcoming workouts.

We are currently in a bit of a dead period on the recruiting front, after such a busy April. However, it would not surprise me if the coaching staff looked to get a few more 2017 targets in for official visits prior to the July live periods. I will be running out several new features this week, including a profile on Taylor Funk with insight from his high school coach. Continue checking back.

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