Monday, May 31, 2010

2011 Recruiting Target- Chris Wilson

When I set out to compile a list of 2011 recruiting targets for the Hawks, one of the more intriguing names was that of Terry Sanford High School (NC) rising senior Chris Wilson. While names like Aaron Brown, Juan'ya Green, Malcolm Gilbert, and Andrew Nicholas are familiar to most people that follow Hawk recruiting, Wilson is a relatively new name. According to a Rivals article linked below, the 6'2 200 pound point guard from North Carolina holds an offer from the Hawks.

The article, written by Brian McLawhorn of, has Wilson quoted as saying that he holds offers from "Appalachian State, Saint Joe's, VCU, Old Dominion, Arizona State, and Stanford."

In the article, Wilson says that he isn't the type of player that will go to a school simply because it is the biggest name or in the biggest conference, but instead wants a school that is the best fit for him.

While the Hawks bring in a tremendous 2010 recruiting class, the class lacks a true point guard. Rising sophomores Tay Jones and Justin Crosgile both spent time at the point guard spot this past season, and while both played well as freshmen, the point guard position is one that could use some depth in the 2011 class. Wilson appears to be one of the main targets there.

Wilson, like Juan'ya Green, has ideal size for the point guard position. While Green is more of an off-guard transitioning to the point, Wilson appears to be more of a pure point guard. As point guard, Wilson led his high school, Terry Sanford, to back-to-back 4-A state title games.

Dan Wiederer of wrote a great article on Wilson, and his approach to the recruiting process, earlier this month. That article, like the Rivals article, is linked below.

Right now, most of Wilson's offers are from mid-major schools, with others lurking in the background. Wilson, however, plays on the CP3 All-Stars, one of the bigger names on the AAU circuit. As a result, he will have the opportunity this summer to play himself into some other, "bigger" offers. Will the Hawks be one of the schools that Wilson seriously considers next fall? Right now they seem to be a school under consideration, but time will tell.

Fay Observer Article on Chris Wilson

Wilson Becoming a Priority?- Rivals Article

Picture Courtesty of

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

2011 Recruiting Target- Juan'ya Green

It's been a number of days since my last update, and I was struggling to decide who to write about next. Due to the fact that he is one of the players on this list that I have seen most recently, I decided to go with Archbishop Carroll's Juan'ya Green.

Juan'ya Green, a 6'3 junior at Archbishop Carroll in Philadelphia, is listed by many of the recruiting sites as a shooting guard, and even a small forward by a few. When I saw Green last month at a Donofrio Classic game in Conshohocken, he spent most of the game sharing the backcourt with 2011 Pitt commit John Johnson. During their time on the court together, Green primarily handled point guard duties with Johnson at the 2. Green could project as a point guard at the college level.

At 6'3, with a strong build, Green has great size for a point guard. In addition to that size, he plays a truly calculated game, rarely making mistakes. During the game that I saw, he didn't attempt many shots from the perimeter, but did demonstrate an ability to get into the paint, either scoring himself or distributing the ball to his teammates. Green's game is well-rounded, fundamental, and smart.

For quite some time, Green was considered a lock to attend Villanova. He stated to multiple media sources that Villanova was his clear leader, but over the past year that interest has waned. Many believe that Green would still be Nova's to lose if they started to recruit him heavily again. While Nova was the apparent leader for Green this time last year, another local school is perceived by many to be a frontrunner in his recruitment now. And that school is Temple.

One reason, and a big one, that Temple is considered to possibly have the inside track on Green is his high school coach, Paul Romanczuk. Romanczuk played under Temple head coach Fran Dunphy at the University of Pennsylvania in the mid 1990's. Temple is not alone in their recruitment of Green, however. Saint Joseph's is another local school recruiting the Philadelphia guard. In addition to Nova, Temple, and Saint Joseph's, a number of other schools are interested in Green. Maryland is one of those schools, but they picked up a verbal commitment from 2011 New Jersey point guard Sterling Gibbs, possibly taking them out of the picture. George Mason is another school that has offered Green. A few recruiting websites have mentioned Green taking a visit to Providence over the summer, putting them also in the mix. A wide range of other schools, from Big East to ACC to Big Ten to Atlantic 10 have also expressed interest in Green.

The Hawks and Temple are both local teams with an interest in the crafty guard. It will be extremely interesting to follow the recruiting at both of the Big 5 schools, since a number of top prospects list both programs. In addition to Juan'ya Green, Aaron Brown, Darrun Hilliard, and Devin Coleman are other guards with interest from both schools.

The decision of one of these players could certainly impact the decision of another. It will be interesting to follow over the summer months.

Picture of Juan'ya Green Courtesy of

Friday, May 21, 2010

2011 Recruiting Target- Malcolm Gilbert

While the majority of the names on this list are guards, including the first two previewed on here, there are a few frontcourt players as well. The biggest name (yes I mean in terms of size) is Malcolm Gilbert. Gilbert, a 6'11 center, played last season on a high school team with an NBA-sized frontcourt. Sophomore Savon Goodman is considered one of the best small forwards in his high school class, while junior Roc Christmas is also considered an elite-level recruit. While Gilbert does not have quite the national name of his teammates, he is still receiving a significant amount of recruiting interest.

Gilbert's college interest is wide-ranging, from the Ivy League to the Big East. At the beginning of May, Malcolm was interviewed by, and he listed over a dozen schools as being involved. Among the schools listed was Saint Joseph's. During the interview, Malcolm explained that he was giving serious consideration to the Ivy League, stating that academics come first, and basketball second. Big East and ACC schools like Pitt, Florida, Georgia Tech, and Georgetown were also listed.

Malcolm has a reputation as a defensive stopper, with shot-blocking as his specialty. I got to see Malcolm play twice this year, once during the Gym Rats Midnight Madness event and once against Plymouth-Whitemarsh. In both games, Malcolm faced off against highly-regarded centers. At Gym Rats Midnight Madness, he went head-to-head with 2010 Syracuse commit Fab Melo. Against Plymouth-Whitemarsh, he faced off against 2010 Saint Joseph's recruit CJ Aiken.

Gilbert plays a smart brand of basketball, which makes sense considering his Ivy League interest. Over the coming months, he will have an interesting decision to make. While most high school prospects are more interested in the basketball side of things, Malcolm's decision will be more complex. Will he choose a school like Penn or Harvard due to the academics, a school like Florida or Pitt for the national recognition as a basketball powerhouse, or possibly stay local at a school like Saint Joseph's, La Salle, or Temple?

Whatever school Gilbert selects will be getting a shot-blocking presence in the paint with a developing offensive game.

For more information on Gilbert's game, check out the two links below. They will take you to the game recaps from when I saw Malcolm over the winter.

Gym Rats Recap- Malcolm Gilbert

Plymouth-Whitemarsh Bests Savon Goodman, ANC

Photo Courtesy of

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

2011 Recruiting Target- Andrew Nicholas

Last July, rising junior Andrew Nicholas of Eastern York High School made an early pledge to Rutgers coach Fred Hill. When he signed with Rutgers, he claimed offers from Virginia Tech, Saint Joseph's, Georgia Tech, Penn State,and Temple.

Andrew's commitment to Rutgers appears to be in question since the firing of coach Fred Hill.

Prior to Hill's departure from Rutgers, Nicholas told The Varsity Beat that he would consider Villanova, Saint Joseph's, and Penn State if the coach left.

It has now been over a month since Hill left Rutgers, and Nicholas appears to be on the market. If that is the case, Hawk Hill sounds like a legitimate contender to land his services considering his list. Penn State head coach Ed DeChellis is certainly on the hot seat at Penn State, which could be a factor if Nicholas is to officially reopen his recruitment. As for Villanova, they already have a 2011 commitment from shooting guard Ashcraf Yacoubou and have some depth on the wing. I am not implying that Nicholas is a lock to land on Hawk Hill. While Nicholas stated that he would reopen his recruitment if Hill was fired, I have not found anything since that firing saying that the recruitment was reopened.

The Hawks got lucky when Saint John's head coach Norm Roberts was fired, leading Ronald Roberts to open things back up, and ultimately join Saint Joseph's 2010 recruiting class. Could the firing of another Big East coach lead to another break for the Hawks? Time will tell.

Nicholas is a high-level shooter from the perimeter, with significant size, in the 6'6 range. The lefty played at a high level this past season for Eastern York High School. Last week, he scored 23 points at the Donfrio Classic for the Bucks County All Stars.

I am hoping to hear more on Nicholas' situation on the coming days.

The Varsity Beat

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

2011 Target- Aaron Brown

In the first blog entry on Saint Joseph's 2011 recruiting targets, we will take a look at 6'4 Penn Wood (PA) junior Aaron Brown. Why Aaron Brown for the first entry? Over the past winter, he was one of the most talked-about players in the Philadelphia area, and one with definite interest from many of the local schools. Saint Joseph's and Temple are two of the local colleges paying especially close attention to the 6'4 wing. In addition to Temple and SJU, West Virginia, Rice, and Richmond are among the other schools recruiting Brown heavily.

Over this past season, I was able to watch Brown a number of times. Brown's best game came in the District 1 Finals at Villanova, when Brown led Penn Wood past CJ Aiken and the Plymouth-Whitemarsh Colonials. A link to that game recap, and a number of others, is below.

Aaron is an exceptionally athletic player on the wing. Each time I saw Aaron this winter, he had at least one eye-popping dunk or acrobatic finish in the lane. Due to his athleticism, quickness, and strength, he is a solid rebounder from the wing, and also has the makings of a very good college defender. Over the course of the season, one of the biggest improvements in Aaron's game was his jumper. What was once a weakness in his game has become a valuable weapon. While Aaron may not be a true shooting guard, he is a more-than-capable shooter from the wing. He is best off the dribble, getting into the lane and finishing at, or above, the rim.

Where do the Hawks stand with Brown? The coaching staff was a presence at nearly every game that Aaron played this season. Assistant coach Geoff Arnold in particular has been tracking Brown. Since the high school season ended, the Hawks did receive a commitment from 2010 recruit Pat Swilling Jr, who will also play in the backcourt. Aaron Brown does things on the court that every team needs. His competitive spirit, athleticism, and continued improvement as a player, will likely make him a hot commodity over the coming AAU season. While Aaron is one of the more recognizable names when it comes to 2011 SJU recruiting, there are a number of others. I will look into more of those names in the coming week.

PW beats Penn Wood in State Finals

Aaron Brown Leads Penn Wood to District One Title

Penn Wood Defeats Bensalem in District One Playoffs

Penn Wood Rolls Over Chester

Image Above from

Monday, May 17, 2010

2011 Recruiting Targets- Overview

Does it seem crazy to begin talking about 2011 recruiting for the Hawks already? It was only a week ago that the Hawks signed senior Ronald Roberts, bolstering an already impressive recruiting class. Roughly a week before that the Hawks added Hofstra transfer Halil Kanacevic. It was only recently that Pat Swilling Jr. signed with the Hawks as well, another member of the 2010 class. In the coming days, I will be looking at a number of potential 2011 recruiting targets. While this is all speculation, a few things are evident when looking at a list of possibly interested names. The list of names is fairly guard-heavy without much happening in the frontcourt. With the recent signings of Kanacevic and Roberts, the need for a frontcourt player is slightly alleviated. Will the Hawks sign two or three of the names listed below? Possibly. Will they sign a player or two not on this list? Possibly. This list is likely to change over the summer months. Today I will simply list some names, and then beginning tomorrow, I will look at a name or two a day. I have seen a number of the players in person, and will add insight wherever I feel that I can. Names of interest are in no particular order:

Aaron Brown- 6'4 wing- Penn Wood High School (PA)
Myles Davis- 6'2 shooting guard- Saint Peter's Prep (NJ)
Andrew Nicholas- 6'6 small forward- Eastern York High School (PA)
Malcolm Gilbert- 6'11 center- Academy of the New Church (PA)
Juan'ya Green- 6'3 combo guard- Archbishop Carroll (PA)
Darrun Hilliard- 6'4 shooting guard- Liberty High School (PA)
Chris Wilson- 6'2 point guard- Terry Sanford High School (NC)
Devin Coleman- 6'3 combo guard- Friends Central (PA)
Trevante Drye- 6'6 forward- Glen Oaks High School (LA)
Khalid Lewis- 6'3 wing- Trenton Catholic (NJ)

Top 50 Players in Louisiana

Bobby Sibley of the Louisiana Basketball Report listed his top 50 high school players in the state of Louisiana yesterday. Two players on that list, Langston Galloway and Pat Swilling Jr. will be headed to Saint Joseph's in the coming month or so. Sibley has a great write-up of Langston's game, and explains why he ranked him as the number two player in the state of Louisiana. In the write-up, he talks about Langston's ability to make his teammates better. Galloway checks in at number two on the list, and Sibley has Swilling at number 11. Sibley lists both Langston and Pat as being 6'3 and 185 pounds. A link to the article is below, and it is well worth reading.

Louisiana Basketball Report Top 50 of 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

More on Ronald Roberts

As promised, here is the remainder of the article on the Hawks' newest signing, senior 6'7 forward Ronald Roberts from Saint Peter's Prep. Earlier, we broke down the factors that led to Roberts signing with the Hawks. Now we will take a look at his game. Our look into his game comes courtesy of his high school coach, Mike Kelly.

Ronald ultimately chose the Hawks this time around over Georgia Tech and the University of Virginia, two ACC schools. Back in October, he signed with a Big East school. Pretty impressive for any high school player, right? Well, it's even more impressive considering the fact that Ron has only played two years of varsity basketball. As a sophomore, he was cut from the varsity team at Bayonne. He then transferred to Saint Peter's Prep as a junior where he made varsity and really began to make a name for himself. Ron certainly seems to fit into the category of a late bloomer. According to Coach Kelly, his growth as a player is due to "pro" athletic ability and a terrific work ethic.

Right now, according to Kelly, Ronald is a 4 making the transition to the wing. Kelly said that with his size (6'7 215 pounds says the coach) he is a matchup nightmare. Roberts is strong around the basket, and has been working very hard on his perimeter skills. Kelly said that "he has developed a good jumper with 3 point range." His ability to play both inside and out, according to his coach, is what makes him such an impressive prospect. In addition to his athleticism, his length allows him to defend the perimeter as well as block shots in the post.

Ron will continue to work on his handle and his jump shot in the months leading up to his arrival on Hawk Hill. What he brings with him was previously missing from the lineup. Roberts is, as his coach said, "freakishly athletic" and a terrific rebounder. His toughness will be an asset to the Hawks this year. As his perimeter game continues to improve, his value will even further increase.

In only a few short months, Roberts will be joining his fellow freshmen on Hawk Hill. They have the chance to do something truly special during their time there.

Roberts Joins 2010 Class

Late last night, news broke that Saint Peter's Prep forward Ronald Roberts had made his college decision...for a second time. Ronald originally signed with Saint John's during the Early Signing Period, then reopened his recruitment when Norm Roberts was fired at Saint John's. This time around, Ron narrowed his choices to Saint Joseph's, Georgia Tech, and the University of Virginia. Last night, the decision was made and Ron called Saint Joseph's head coach Phil Martelli to give him the good news.

Ronald joins a 2010 recruiting class that already includes 6'9 CJ Aiken, 6'7 Daryus Quarles, 6'3 Pat Swilling Jr, and 6'2 Langston Galloway. Roberts, one of the best seniors in North Jersey, will join Quarles, one of the best seniors in South Jersey, on Hawk Hill next year.

Earlier today, I got the opportunity to speak with Roberts' high school coach, Mike Kelly, about his star senior's game and college decision.

According to Kelly, Coach Martelli and assistant coach Mark Bass began recruiting Roberts roughly a year and a half ago. During that time, Ron developed a strong bond with the Hawk coaches, but he ultimately dreamed of playing Big East basketball. When Saint John's came knocking, the allure of the Big East and of playing in Madison Square Garden made it an easy sell. After making this choice, Ron called the Hawk coaches and thanked them for the time they spent recruiting him. When Ronald reopened his recruitment, it was only natural for the Hawks to be one of the schools at the top of his new list.

As anyone who has followed this recruitment knows, his commitment to Saint Joseph's did not happen overnight. While Ronald felt a strong connection to the Hawk coaching staff, he was still intrigued by the notion of playing in a "power conference." The University of Virginia and Georgia Tech, both ACC schools, showed interest in Ron. That interest even went so far as a visit to UVA and a scheduled visit to Georgia Tech.

In the end, Ronald chose the Hawks for a number of reasons. According to Mike Kelly, Roberts' relationship with Phil Martelli was one of the top reasons for signing with Saint Joseph's. He is aware of the Hawks currently playing in the NBA (Jameer Nelson of the Magic, Delonte West of the Cavaliers, and Dwayne Jones of the Suns) and aims to ultimately join them one day. The strength of this recruiting class, and the opportunity to be a part of something special on Hawk Hill, also played a vital role in his signing.

Mike Kelly also broke down Roberts' game for me. I will post that article either later tonight or early tomorrow. For now, for those who haven't seen it, you can get a glimpse of the future Hawk in the youtube clip linked below:

Roberts' Youtube Segment

Photo Above of Roberts Courtesy of

Ronald Roberts is a Hawk

Late last night, a recruiting process that has seemingly gone on for months came to a close. "It's done. Roberts is a Hawk," Saint Peter's Prep coach Mike Kelly told me. The news was broken on Zagsblog last night.

On Saturday I wrote that Roberts' visit to Georgia Tech was cancelled and that a decision was in the near future. Well, that decision came on Monday evening.

I will have a much more detailed article up later today.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Roberts: Decision Coming Soon?

It has been known for the past couple of weeks that Saint Peter's Prep senior forward Ronald Roberts would be selecting from three schools. Those schools are Saint Joseph's, Georgia Tech, and the University of Virginia.

Roberts visited UVA last weekend.

He has been on campus at Saint Joseph's a number of times.

The Georgia Tech visit was slated for this weekend, starting yesterday, May 7th.

According to Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog, that visit has been pushed back until next weekend.

However, I received information yesterday from sources close to the situation that the Georgia Tech visit wasn't going to happen. According to the source, there were "no more visits." In addition, I was told that an announcement would be coming shortly.

As I hear more about this situation, I will update. Check back later today.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Halil Kanacevic Headed to Hawk Hill

According to numerous sites, Hofstra transfer Halil Kanacevic is headed to Saint Joseph's. has reported that Kanacevic, who played his freshman year at Hofstra this past year, has given a verbal commitment to the Hawks. As a freshman, the 6'8 240 pound Kanacevic averaged 8.6 points and 7.6 rebounds a game.

Kanacevic will have to sit the 2010-2011 season before becoming eligible in the 2011-2012 campaign. At that point, he will have 3 years of eligibility left. He will be a sophomore alongside the Hawks' 2010 recruiting class. That class, which was already considered one of the strongest in school history, just got another lift. The class consists of two strong guards in Langston Galloway and Pat Swilling Jr, an athletic wing in 6'7 Daryus Quarles, and a big-time shot-blocking force in 6'9 CJ Aiken. Kanacevic will pair up with Aiken to form an imposing frontcourt.

There still remains the possibility that the Hawks will add another piece to this class. This past weekend, 6'8 Montverde Academy forward Papa Samba Ndao visited campus. Ndao checked in at #74 nationally in the Top 100 list that was released earlier today. Still in the mix is one of the most talked-about players on this site, Saint Peter's Prep forward Ronald Roberts. Roberts will be deciding between the Hawks, Georgia Tech, and the University of Virginia. In a Zagsblog article earlier today, Adam Zagoria said that the signing of Halil would not impact the recruitment of Roberts.

It has been an eventful spring so far, with the signings of Swilling and Halil, and there still remains the possibility of another piece falling into place. Article on Halil Kanacevic's Transfer to Hawk Hill

Image above from

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Roberts, Ndao Take Visits

Earlier this week, Zagsblog had an article on former Saint John's signee Ronald Roberts. The article explained that the 6'7 forward would be making his college decision within the week, and selecting from Saint Joseph's, Georgia Tech, and the University of Virginia. Roberts was planning on taking his visit to UVA this weekend and Georgia Tech during the week. The article is linked below:

Roberts' Decision Coming Soon

While Roberts is heading south for some visits, Papa Samba Ndao, headed north this weekend to visit Hawk Hill. According to, Ndao visited Saint Joseph's this weekend. Ndao, who played for Montverde Academy in Florida, originally signed with Boston College, but reopened his recruitment when BC coach Al Skinner was fired. Ndao is a 6'8 forward.

Will the signing of one of these players impact the other? That is possible. Either way, things should be much clearer next week on where the Hawks stand with both of these prospects.

The picture of Ndao above is from