Noah Locke

Breaking down April's live periods: Part A

Tonight, Hawk Hill Hardwood has the first of two in-depth looks at the two live April live recruiting periods. In tonight’s installment, we look at how St. Joe’s commit Jared Bynum fared the last two weekends while also delving into how Hawk guard targets like Noah Locke, Rasir Bolton, Matthue Cotton, and others performed. Our focus tonight is in the backcourt, and then tomorrow we will look at the bigs.

Through two weekends, the D.C. Blue Devils are 5-3 on the Under Armour circuit.  After going 3-1 last weekend in New York, Jared Bynum and company went 2-2 this weekend in Indianapolis.  Jared is averaging just a shade under 12 points per game through eight games for the Blue Devils.  He’s at 36% from the field, 34% from three, and 58% from the stripe.  Those are his numbers over the last two weekends.  This weekend, his scoring was down, but he did a nice job distributing the ball.  In the four games this weekend, Bynum had 19 assists to 6 turnovers, which is good for a better-than 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.  Also breaks down to just under 5 assists per game this weekend.  He didn’t shoot it as well during the second live period as he did during the first, but his assist numbers were slightly higher, and once again, he took really good care of the ball.  That’s something that I’m sure excites the St. Joe’s coaching staff.


With Jared Bynum already committed in the 2018 class, the Hawk coaching staff is looking for an impact two-guard to place alongside him.  The main names are, and seemingly have been for quite some time as follows: Noah Locke, Matthue Cotton, Rasir Bolton, Wynston Tabbs, Duane Washington Jr, Tavon Jones, Chase Audige, Brendan Adams, and Allen Betrand.


Of the names on that list, the one that unfortunately looks to be slipping away at this point is top 100 McDonogh guard Noah Locke.  He has put up borderline ridiculous numbers over the last two weekends for Team Melo on the EYBL.  And those numbers have led to new offers from the likes of Virginia, UNLV, Clemson, and Georgia Tech.  Those are in addition to offers from Florida, Xavier, Providence, Penn State, St. Joe’s, and more. On Saturday, Locke went 12-19 from 3 in just two games.  Today, in an ‘off’ game, he went 4-13 from deep. He’s been one of the best shooters and best scorers this spring on the EYBL.  I’m not quite ready to say for Hawk fans to abandon all hope here.  It’s definitely fair to question how much longer the Hawks can hold on here though, as the offers are likely only going to continue piling in for the Maryland native.


While Noah Locke absolutely exploded over the last two weekends, it was a different story for Voorhees, NJ native Matthue Cotton.  I’ve maintained for quite some time that Cotton is the top overall target for the SJU coaching staff.  And I’m not saying differently now.  It was not the start to the 2017 EYBL season that I’m guessing Matthue anticipated, however.  In the six games charted by D1Circuit this spring, Cotton is averaging just over 6 points per game while shooting just 32% from the field and 7-23 (30%) from three.  Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, Miami, VCU, UMass, and St. Joe’s are just a few of the schools involved with the 6’5 two guard.  As of tonight, he has not collected any new offers over the last two live periods.  Could that possibly work toward the Hawks’ favor? We’ll see.

6’3 Huntington Prep (WV) combo guard Rasir Bolton has been one of the hotter names linked with the Hawks in 2018, sort of in that top tier with Locke and Cotton.  He has taken an unofficial visit to St. Joe’s.  Phil Martelli has been to Huntington Prep this month to visit.  Bolton has consistently mentioned the Hawks as one of the top schools in his recruitment.  He plays his AAU ball with Team Loaded out of Virginia on the Adidas circuit. Bolton’s overall numbers during the two live periods are pretty impressive.  He’s averaging 10.3 points, 2.5 boards, and 2 assists for one of the top AAU programs in America, regardless of circuit.  They’re currently 8-0.  Overall, he’s shooting 27-62 (44%) from the field and 9-24 (38%) from three.  He’s also at 83% from the free throw line.  A hyper-athletic 6’3 guard, Bolton didn’t shoot it well during the first live period.  At all.  He was 1-11 from three last weekend.  But then 8-13 from three this weekend. So far, he hasn’t blown up like Noah Locke has, but with the success he had this weekend, I would not be surprised to see some new schools throw their hat into the ring with him.


For a while, I’ve had a top tier of Noah Locke, Matthue Cotton, and Rasir Bolton.  There’s a chance that I have a fourth name for that top tier now though.  And that’s The Family combo guard Duane Washington Jr.  Washington has a Hawk offer, had a recent in-home visit with Phil Martelli, and has been outstanding this spring.  Washington is averaging 15.1 points per game on 41-86 (48%) shooting from the field, 18-40 (45%) from three, and 16-17 (94%) from the line.  He went off for 7-9 shooting from three Friday night.  He has a college-ready 6’3 frame now and his on-court success is paying off with offers. Tulsa, Milwaukee, Duquesne, and Middle Tennessee State have all offered this week.  I expect that list to keep growing.


DC native Wynston Tabbs played for Team Takeover last weekend on the EYBL.  This weekend was a different story as he showed up in Indy with Team Melo, where he played alongside Noah Locke, Brendan Adams, and Anthony Higgs, all of whom have Hawk offers.  In four games last weekend with Team Takeover, Tabbs averaged 7.2 points, and shot 35% from the field and 4-11 (36%) from three.  This weekend with Team Melo he had some nice moments.  Tabbs had 12 points, 5 boards, and 4 assists Friday night in a tight loss to Mokan Elite.  He had 19 points Saturday morning in a blowout win, going 8-15 from the field and 1-2 from 3.  Wynston saved his best individual performance for Sunday, when he dropped 26 points including 4-6 from three.  He went, in all, 9-17 from three this weekend.  That puts him at 13-28 from three the last weekends, good for 46%.  A strong, athletic 6’3, Wynston Tabbs showed these last two weekends that he can also really shoot it. St. Joe’s, Rutgers, Penn State, and George Washington are among his offers, but I fully expect the landscape of his recruitment to change now too.


Phil Martelli made several trips out to watch 2018 Linden (NJ) guard Tavon Jones this year.  Jones runs with the NJ Playaz in a backcourt with top 75 guard Jalen Carey.  Jones averaged 12.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in his eight games during these live periods.  Tavon does a little bit of everything and is as tough as they come.  The one knock has been his perimeter shooting, and his 1-9 in eight games from deep probably didn’t do much to alleviate those concerns.  He gets to the rim, and gets to the line.  He shot 50 free throws in 8 games, good for over 6 per, and shot 64% from the line.  My guess is that he’s somewhere in the middle of the Hawks’ second tier of guard targets.  That being said, his toughness, versatility, and slashing ability could certainly translate well to the Atlantic 10.


Brendan Adams was a hot name earlier this spring, collecting offers from Stanford and Minnesota, to go along with St. Joe’s, St. Bonaventure where his brother Jaylen plays, and more.  He seemed to have a solid if not spectacular first two live periods, averaging 7.9 points per on 39% shooting from the field and 9-21 (43%) from deep.  Adams, like Washington, Cotton, Locke, and more, had in-home visits with Phil Martelli prior to the first live period.  He’s a guy that the Hawks have invested significant time in and seem to still be in the mix for.  Although a school like Stanford can certainly put a wrench into the Hawks’ equation.


Chase Audige is sort of in line with Tavon Jones and Allen Betrand as a do-everything guard with the major weakness in perimeter shooting.  Audige runs with the PSA Cardinals, holds a Hawk offer, and is an outstanding student as well as a quality basketball player.  He averaged 5.8 points, 2 boards, and an assist per game.  Audige shot 4-15 (27%) from three and 18-29 (62%) from the line over his eight games with the Cardinals this month.


That takes us to Philly native Allen Betrand who runs with Philly Pride.  The same AAU program that produced Charlie Brown. Betrand averaged 5.8 points per game for Philly Pride, who went 6-2 this month.  Betrand shot 3-21 (14%) from three.  He’s a guy with a Hawk offer, to go alongside La Salle, Rider, Delaware, and more.  


That brings us to the end with perimeter Hawk targets.  For now at least.  Tomorrow we will delve into the frontcourt situation.  As always, Hawk Hill Hardwood is your place for the most up-to-date news related to your Saint Joseph’s Hawks.

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