On Monday evening, Phil Martelli watched Grand Rapids Catholic Central (MI), and in particular, 6'9 junior forward Marcus Bingham. Hawk assistant coach Mark Bass has been on his trail for the last several months, and on his recommendation, Phil Martelli flew to Michigan Monday to see the athletic 6'9 big man with a 7-foot-plus wingspan.
Phil Martelli was so impressed with Bingham Monday night, in a 12-point, 10-rebound performance in a Divisional playoff win, that he offered the 2018 recruit post-game. The offer was Bingham's third, per Steve Kaminsky of Michigan Live. St. Joe's joins Oakland and Toledo as offers for the junior. He has also taken unofficial visits to Purdue and Notre Dame in recent weeks. Maryland, Butler, Xavier and Cincinnati are also expressing interest in Bingham.
St. Joe's is likely looking to add a front court piece in 2018. The Have already have offers out to Neumann-Goretti (PA) forward Marcus Littles, Archbishop Wood (PA) center Seth Pinkney, and Valley Forge Military Academy (PA) center Abraham Deng. Now Marcus Bingham enters that mix. What makes Bingham different from those other three is that he has the shot-blocking ability of a Pinkey or Deng combined with an offensive skill set that allows him to step into the mid and long range and knock down perimeter jumpers.
Phil Martelli has been busy on the recruiting trail over the last week. Last weekend, the Hawks hosted 5'9 Georgetown Prep (MD) junior point guard Jared Bynum for an official visit. It was Bynum's first official visit and also St. Joe's first 2018 official visitor. Then, on Friday, Martelli watched 6'9 2017 commit Taylor Funk score 21 in a playoff loss. It was Funk's final high school game. His next basketball game will be in November on Hawk Hill. Then, on Saturday afternoon, Martelli was watched 2019 Abington (PA) forward Eric Dixon. Dixon poured in 31 points in a playoff loss. St. Joe's has already offered Dixon and are making a hard early push there.
Martelli then drove from Abington's game to Allentown to watch William Allen (PA). Allen stars unsigned 2017 guard Tyrese Martin. The 6'5 two-guard had 29 points in front of Martelli, who was seeing him for the second time this month. The Hawks haven't offered yet, and can't, because at the moment they don't have a free scholarship. It will be very interesting to see how this all plays out. Martelli clearly has interest, or he wouldn't have been driving to see William Allen for the second time this month.
On Sunday, Phil watched Linden beat Shawnee behind a team-high 15 points from slashing, athletic 2018 two-guard Tavon Jones. Jones has a St. Joe's offer and seems to be one of St. Joe's top wants in 2018.
This all brings us to Monday, when Phil Martelli boarded a plane for Michigan to see Marcus Bingham. St. Joe's showed how serious they are with him by extending an offer his way. With Maryland, Notre Dame, Purdue, Xavier, Cincinnati, and more involved, this one is far from over. At the moment, the Hawks are his "biggest" offer, but that will change, likely during the April Live Periods.
Over the coming days, I will have a profile up on 2017 commit Anthony Longpre, and I am also working on updates on some of St. Joe's biggest-name recruiting targets like Rasir Bolton and Matthue Cotton. Stay tuned to Hawk Hill Hardwood for all the latest.