Sunday, August 29, 2010

La Salle, Richmond Pick Up Players

In the past couple of days, two A10 schools picked up verbal commitments from 2011 recruits.

La Salle got a verbal from 6'11 Red Land (PA) senior Steve Zack on Thursday night. According to the linked article below, Zack picked La Salle over George Mason, Cornell, Penn and Bucknell. In the article, Zack makes an interesting comment about his high school teammate, junior Mike Zangari. Zack says, "He's actually getting looked at heavily by St. Joseph's, so me and him playing against each other at the Palestra, that would be something else." The article, by Michael Bullock of The Patriot News, is linked below.

La Salle isn't the only A10 schools to score a commitment over the weekend. 5'8 point guard Kendall Anthony committed to Richmond while on an official visit this weekend. Colgate and Witchita State were among the other schools looking at the small point guard. Despite his size, Anthony is a well-regarded floor general and a solid pickup for Richmond.

Steve Zack to La Salle

Monday, August 23, 2010

Pay Up or Shut Up

This post has nothing at all to do with basketball, but everything to do with running and operating a blog. In an article on today, they discuss a tax for bloggers in the city of Philadelphia. In addition to city wage tax and other taxes on profit, the city wants to tax city bloggers $300 for "the privilege of writing on the Internet." It doesn't matter if you make a few dollars (like 3 or 4 or 5) a month like I do. The city wants their cut. With all the problems this city has, stuff like this really makes you wonder.

Check out the link below. I don't even know what else to say...

Pay Up or Shut Up: Bloggers Charged $300 for Their Thoughts

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

August 18th Odds and Ends

-News broke yesterday, the 17th, that Saint Joseph's incoming freshman CJ Aiken got the OK from the NCAA Clearinghouse, and will be able to suit up this year for the Hawks. Aiken is generally considered the "prize recruit" in the 2010 recruiting haul for the Hawks. Over the past several months, a number of people, primarily fans of rival schools, have questioned whether Aiken would be eligible to play this coming season. Those questions have now been answered, and Aiken will bring his athleticism (on display in this video) to SJU this year.

-Last week, I wrote about rising Indiana junior Michael Ramey. Ramey is scheduled to take an unofficial visit to Saint Joseph's, but no date has been set. I was able to find out some more about Ramey yesterday from Indianapolis Star sports reporter Kyle Neddenriep. Although Kyle was uncertain as to when Michael Ramey would make his unofficial visits to SJU, Wyoming, and William and Mary, he said that he was told that Ramey's college decision could come before his upcoming basketball season began. As for his game, Neddenriep said that Ramey's "range is unlimited" and "he can shoot from anywhere." In addition to his perimeter game, Neddenriep also noted that he demonstrated an improved mid-range game this summer. He also told me that Ramey is more athletic than he is given credit for, but needs some work in becoming a better defensive player.

-ESPN released their Atlantic 10 Summer Shootaround today. Clicking here will take you to the homepage. In their team capsule on the Hawks, the folks at ESPN had this to say:

Saint Joseph's: First the bad news for the Hawks: Leading scorers Darrin Govens and Garrett Williamson have graduated. Now the good news: C.J. Aiken, Daryus Quarles and Langston Galloway (who looked at LSU, Stanford and Oklahoma State before joining his uncle, Saint Joe's assistant coach Geoff Arnold) are on campus. The freshman trio forms one of the best recruiting classes Phil Martelli has had in years and ought to help the Hawks get out of their sub-.500 blues.

In their segment on best and worst case scenarios, they had this to say:

Best case: It all depends on the incoming class. C.J. Aiken, Daryus Quarles and Langston Galloway make up the best class Phil Martelli has had since, well, you know. If all three live up to their hype, St. Joe's could vastly improve on its recent slide into 20-loss territory.

Worst case: The incoming class takes a year to congeal (as so many do), and the talented youngsters aren't good enough to make up for the loss of leading scorers Darrin Govens and Garrett Williamson. Either way, St. Joe's should improve, but if this worst case plays out, that improvement won't have anyone recalling the 2003-04 Elite Eight run anytime soon.

Not the most insightful or detailed breakdown, but it's nice to hear what the national media has to say about the Hawks. One glaring flaw in their analysis is the mention of the Hawks tremendous three-player recruiting class. If it was a three-man class, it would be a very good one. ESPN forgot to mention two incoming freshmen, Ronald Roberts and Pat Swilling Jr. To be fair, both players did sign with SJU late in the recruiting process. Still, both will be major contributors on Hawk Hill from day one, and certainly deserve a mention.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Andrew Nicholas to Monmouth

Earlier this afternoon, 6'6 Eastern York High School senior Andrew Nicholas verbally committed to the Monmouth Hawks. Nicholas, who originally committed to Rutgers last summer when Fred Hill was at the helm, was apparently close to pulling the trigger to Saint Joseph's earlier this summer. At one point, Nicholas claimed to narrow his list of schools down to Saint Joseph's and Penn State. Shortly thereafter, both schools seemed to back off the talented lefty.

Nicholas is not the only player from his high school to commit to Monmouth today. According to Adam Zagoria, in the article linked below, Austin Tollitson, a 6'1 point guard from Easter York, also committed to Monmouth.

Andrew Nicholas seemed destined to be a Hawk earlier this summer. Well, today he signed with the Hawks. To the surprise of many, it was Monmouth, not Saint Joseph's. SJU does appear to be in the market for a sniper in the 2011 class, and I will provide you with names as I hear them.

Zagsblog- Nicholas to Monmouth

Monday, August 9, 2010

Indiana Junior to Visit SJU

Indiana has long been a hotbed of basketball talent. In fact, the 2012 recruiting class in the Hoosier state is considered to be one of the best in the nation. One player from Indiana that seems to have caught the eye of the Saint Joseph's coaching staff is 6'5 Southport guard Michael Ramey. The Hawks have shown interest in Ramey for quite some time. In March, according to an article, coaches from Saint Joseph's and Arizona State visited Southport to evaluate both Ramey and 2012 guard Kellon Thomas. A number of other schools are in the mix for the talented guard, and Ramey has apparently scheduled visits to three of them.

According to's Twitter , Ramey has unofficial visits now scheduled for Saint Joseph's, Wyoming, and William and Mary. At the moment, most of Ramey's offers are coming from mid-majors, but he has the attention of a number of high-majors. Big Ten schools Indiana and Michigan are among the schools keeping tabs on Ramey.

Michael Ramey Video Clip

Photo Above Courtesy of

Friday, August 6, 2010

Index of Articles on Chris Wilson Signing

As numerous sites began indicating yesterday morning, Saint Joseph's did in fact get their first verbal commitment in the 2011 recruiting class. The commitment came from Terry Sanford High (NC) point guard Chris Wilson, who plays his AAU basketball with the powerful CP3 squad. Yesterday came the reports that Wilson signed, and today came the newspaper articles. Below I have linked a number of articles on the signing.

Fay Observer Article on Chris Wilson

Ray Parillo Article- Philadelphia Inquirer

Dick Jerardi Article

ESPN Blurb on Wilson's Signing

In the ESPN article above, they have Chris evaluated as a 90 using their grading system, and ranked as the 39th best point guard in the nation in his class.

In the Dick Jerardi article linked above, he mentions that the Hawks have two remaining scholarships for the 2011 class, and one of the top priorities is a lockdown shooter. Who that shooter is remains to be seen, as the Hawks are no longer actively recruiting former Rutgers commit Andrew Nicholas.

Stay tuned for further updates on the Chris Wilson signing as well as any information on new recruiting targets.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Reports: Chris Wilson is a Hawk

According to Evan Daniels of, Adam Zagoria of, and the CP3 AAU team's Twitter page, Sanford High School senior Chris Wilson is Saint Joseph's first signing in the class of 2011. I generally don't like to post news like this without multiple sites reporting it, but this story sounds legitimate to me.

For the past year, Wilson has been considered one of, if not the top, point guard target of the Saint Joseph's coaching staff. At 6'2, Wilson is a strong true point guard. While so many guards today are combination guards, Wilson sounds like he is in the mold of a true pass-first point guard. After signing one of the best recruiting classes in school history in 2010, the SJU coaching staff knew that it needed to find itself a true point guard in 2011. Aside from Chris Wilson, they were looking at Elijah Carter, Juan'ya Green, Devin Coleman, and a few others. If these reports are true, the staff found their man in 2011.

Wilson announced a few days ago that he had a top 5 list of schools, featuring Boston College, Old Dominion, Clemson, Stanford, and Saint Joseph's. It sounds like Wilson knew at the time where he would be playing his college basketball.

Check back throughout the day as more news and information leaks out on this signing.

Evan Daniels Twitter

Zagsblog Twitter

CP3 Twitter

Photo Above Courtesy of

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Darrun Hilliard is the Newest Villanova Wildcat

Late Tuesday afternoon, reports began to surface that Liberty High School senior Darrun Hilliard had made his college decision. At a 5 o'clock news conference at his high school on Wednesday, Hilliard made the announcement. The talented guard will be playing his college basketball in the Big East conference, for Jay Wright at the Villanova Wildcats.

Entering the summer, Hilliard was already receiving significant recruiting interest. Temple and Saint Joseph's both offered the 6'5 guard during his high school season. Hilliard also took in the Saint Joseph's home game against Dayton this season. Hilliard is the fourth local 2011 recruit to choose a Big East school. John Johnson (Pitt), Jaylen Bond (Pitt), Aaron Brown (Pitt), and now Darrun Hilliard will all see each other in two years in Big East conference play. In the end, Hilliard chose Villanova over "Iowa, Michigan, Notre Dame, Seton Hall, and Boston College," according to Groller's Corner Blog .

I got the opportunity to watch Hilliard's high school, Liberty, take on Penn Wood in the state playoffs this past winter. In the game, that Penn Wood won en route to a birth in the state championship game, Hilliard was arguably the best player on the court. While Penn Wood boasted a number of Division 1 prospects, including Penn State football commitment Shawn Oakman, West Virginia-bound senior Aaron Brown, and Hartford-bound Tyree Johnson, it was Hilliard that most impressed. In the game, Hilliard showed an ability to knock down shots from three, while also getting to the rim with ease. At the rim, Darrun is able to finish with both hands.

Hilliard joins a recruiting class that includes guards Tyrone Johnson, Ashcraf Yacoubou, and big man Markus Kennedy.

Photo Above Courtesy of Lehigh Valley Live

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Evan Cummins Making a Name for Himself

It happens every summer on the AAU circuit. High school players that have flown relatively under the radar during their high school seasons suddenly attract the attention of college coaches. One player from the Northeast that has caught the eyes of many college coaches is Northfield Mount Hermon (MA) rising junior Evan Cummins.

Northfield Mount Hermon is one of the more recognizable names in the world of high school basketball. Last season, 8 graduates of Northfield Mount Hermon played college ball in the Ivy League. 24 NMH graduates played Division 1 college basketball last year. With numbers like that, it's clear that NMH head coach John Carroll and the teachers at the high school have their students prepared for college.

Head coach John Carroll was nice enough to break down Evan Cummins' game and recruitment for me yesterday. According to Carroll, Evan has played his way to roughly a dozen scholarship offers. Saint Joseph's is one of the schools to extend an offer to Evan, along with Providence, UMass, Boston University, Florida Atlantic, and several others. In addition, Evan is currently hearing from other schools in the PAC-10, Big East, ACC, Atlantic 10, and Ivy League conferences.

This summer, Evan played on the NE Playaz AAU team. The 6'8 forward is "very athletic with tremendous defensive ability," according to his high school coach. John Carroll went on to say that Evan is a "tremendous passer for his position" and "an elite player in transition on both ends of the floor."

Evan is clearly a talented player on the court, and according to his coach a terrific student. It looks like Evan will have plenty of choices when it comes time for him to make a college decision. He is certainly a player that coaches will continue to keep tabs on.

Photo of Evan Cummins courtesy of

Monday, August 2, 2010

Dayton Signs First 2011 Recruit; Randall to Rutgers

Now that the July Open Evaluation Period has ended, many rising high school seniors are aware that their time to make an impression on college coaches has come to an end. As a result, a number of highly regarded players have made their college choice in the past 48 hours. Locally, North Jersey post player Derrick Randall, who saw lots of early recruiting interest from the Saint Joseph's, made a verbal commitment to Mike Rice and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Over the past month, Rutgers has been considered the frontrunner for Randall, with Virginia Tech also heavily in the mix. Randall, who played at Paterson (NJ) Catholic last year, is considered more of a defensive and rebounding presence right now, with his offense still coming along.

In the Atlantic 10, the Dayton Flyers received a big commitment on Sunday. Percy Gibson, a 6'8 power forward from Detroit, chose Dayton over schools such as Temple, USC, and Minnesota. Dayton was one of the Atlantic 10 schools that inked a tremendous 2010 recruiting class. Dayton, along with Xavier and Saint Joseph's, signed what many people considered to be top 25 caliber classes. Gibson's signing puts Dayton off on the right foot in the 2011 class. With names starting to drop off the board, and the month of July now over, the next couple of weeks could be interesting.