Jared Bynum became Saint Joseph's first 2018 commitment on Wednesday night. The 5'9 point guard from Georgetown Prep (DC) ended his recruitment early, giving the Hawks a much-needed boost on the perimeter. In order to gain more insight into what the speedy point guard will bring to Hawk Hill in 2018, I spoke with his high school coach at Georgetown Prep, Ryan Eskow.
Jared averaged 16 points, 4.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and a steal a game this season for a 20-6 Georgetown Prep team, Eskow told Hawk Hill Hardwood. He shot 42% from the field and had a 2.5-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. "Our season was great," Coach Eskow began. "We went 20-6 overall and were regular-season conference co-champs. We lost in the conference championship to Bullis by two points, on free throws in the final seconds. It was a great year overall."
Coach Eskow's relationship with Bynum goes back to Jared's freshman year when he was Bynum's English teacher. At that time, Eskow was an assistant coach at Catholic University. He became head coach at Georgetown Prep during Bynum's sophomore sophomore season. "Everyone you talk to (about Jared) talks about how good of a kid he is," Eskow started. "He's good-natured, and the way he carries himself, he just holds people accountable. He's a great teammate. A winner."
Having known Bynum for three years now, Eskow has real insight into the type of person and player that Jared Bynum is. Often, coaches talk about the "fit" of a school. Eskow's take on this was fascinating. "I felt this then and I feel it even more now; he would have been successful no matter where. He's the kind of player that will adapt. His basketball IQ is through the roof. He will make a school, any school, a good fit. The type of player that is in charge of his own path to success. He will work with anyone. Any player, any team, where the goal is to win, that's what he wants to do. He wants to win. He will help you win."
So what was it about Saint Joseph's that made Jared Bynum pledge so early? Many players in his position would have played out the April, and probably the July live periods, in hopes of landing more offers, or landing bigger offers. According to Ryan Eskow, that's not the type of player that he is. It's not the type of person that he is. "During this whole recruiting process, whenever I'd talk with Jared and his mom, it wasn't about the biggest school or the best conference necessarily. He was always looking most of all to be comfortable with the school and comfortable with the coach."
Jared has attended Jesuit schools his whole life. Georgetown Prep is a Jesuit school. Now he will be continuing that tradition by attending St. Joe's. The sense of community on Hawk Hill was reminiscent of Georgetown Prep, according to Eskow. "He wanted a place that reminded him of home, a coach that will treat you like a family member. And Coach Martelli always did that with Jared. It was always about the person above the basketball player with Coach Martelli, and that was big with him (Jared). That's really why he felt so comfortable at St. Joe's."
Jared Bynum will arrive on Hawk Hill with Shavar Newkirk having just graduated and Lamarr Kimble as a senior. The Hawks will welcome Jared Bynum with open arms. The Hawk coaching staff prioritized him early and their early efforts paid dividends. Now the staff will look to add more perimeter pieces to this early 2018 class.