Friday, June 24, 2011

Big Move

Over the past nearly two years, I have been blessed in many ways by this site. I have gotten to speak with, meet with, and become friends with a number of people as a result of this site. Today's entry here marks the end of one chapter for me and the beginning of another. This entry will be the final one on this particular site.

Beginning today, I will be moving all of my writing to the Scout network. The website name will be the same as this, and a link to the site is at the bottom of this entry.

By becoming a part of the Scout network, I will be better able to provide in-depth coverage and insight into the Hawks for all readers. The opportunity to join such a great and well-respected network was impossible for me to pass up.

Scout is a subscription service, and a large chunk of the articles I write for the new Hawk Hill Hardwood will require membership, which is $5 per month. However, there will still be articles posted free for anyone to read. With the membership, readers will have access to all articles written by me as well as those that others write for Hawk Hill Hardwood. The website will also feature a free message board along with a premium message board for subscribers. In addition, subscribers will be able to read all basketball articles written anywhere on the Scout network.

In the coming weeks, I will be covering the Reebok Breakout Challenge, the Hoop Group Summer Classic East, and a few other summer events. Belonging to the Scout network will also allow me better access to coaches and players for interviews for the site.

I hope to see many of you over on the new Hawk Hill Hardwood site. Thank you to all of you that have read, commented, and sent me emails over the past nearly two years. I hope to keep that dialogue going!

Here is a link to the new Scout site:

Hawk Hill Hardwood

In the coming days, I will be releasing a number of articles on 2012 targets as well as a recap of the Hawks' first summer league game on Sunday night.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Isaiah Miles Visiting Hawk Hill

This week, the Saint Joseph's coaching staff hosted a number of recruits on campus. Among the players on campus were MCS wing Jeremiah Worthem and Saint Anthony (NJ) guards Josh Brown and Hallice Cooke. All three of those players are members of the class of 2013. This weekend, the staff will be hosting a rising senior, 2012 combo forward Isaiah Miles.

According to Glenelg High School assistant coach Geoff Reed, Miles will be visiting Hawk Hill this weekend with his parents. He is one of the SJU coaching staff's top targets in the class of 2012. I wrote a feature article on Isaiah last month, and that article can be found here. Since that article, Isaiah saw his stock soar with a breakout performance at the Los Angeles EYBL event. A plethora of new schools have since entered Isaiah's recruitment. It is clear that the Hawks would like to sign a versatile forward who can knock down shots from the perimeter in the class of 2012. Isaiah is a player that fits that bill. Stay tuned for feedback from the visit.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Davon Reed Fields Calls

Yesterday marked the first day that college coaches could contact players in the class of 2013. As a result, phones across the nation were ringing off the hook throughout the day. One local player who received more than his fair share of phone calls was Princeton Day School (NJ) rising junior Davon Reed. Reed, a 6'5 shooting guard who plays his AAU ball with Team Final, has had a terrific spring. The buzz surrounding him this spring no doubt led to the volume of calls he received yesterday.

I caught up with Davon's high school coach at PDS, Paris McLean, last night about the calls that Davon fielded yesterday. Among the schools that contacted Davon yesterday, according to his coach, were Seton Hall, Rutgers, La Salle, Ohio State, DePaul, Florida, Iowa, Florida State, Cincinnati, Pitt, West Virginia, Dartmouth, Baylor, and Saint Joseph's. He also admitted that the day was so busy that he could be leaving schools off that list.

One thing is for sure though. Many of these schools will be tracking Davon during the July evaluation periods. One event that Davon and his AAU teammates will be participating in during July is the Hoop Group Summer Classic in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania on July 11th and 12th. During that event, which is open to college coaches, you can bet that Davon will draw a crowd.

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 13th Odds and Ends

Nothing new from me today, but there is info floating around on other sites about some SJU recruiting targets. A number of the names belong to 2013 players. On that front, this Wednesday, the 15th, is the first day that college coaches are permitted to call players from the 2013 class. It is likely that a number of names mentioned below will be getting calls from the Saint Joseph's coaches.

This past weekend, the Nike Elite 100 took place at Saint Louis University. One of the players that caught the eye of's Dave Telep and John Stovall was Union, New Jersey forward Tyler Roberson. Roberson is a 6'7 combo forward in the class of 2013 who already owns a scholarship offer from the Hawks. You can read what Telep and Stovall wrote about Roberson here.

Locally, the biggest event of the weekend was the Rumble in the Bronx. Once again, the event featured a loaded field including a number of teams from Philadelphia and New Jersey. ESPN was also on hand to cover that event. Adam Finkelstein was on hand on behalf of ESPN and has a terrific recap here. 2012 center Blaise Mbargorba, who currently holds offers from the Hawks, Temple, and Vanderbilt, has made "huge strides in the past year" according to Finkelstein. Blaise is one of the big men that the staff has targeted in the 2012 class. Marcus Gilbert, Charles Cooke, Ja'Quan Newton, Miles Overton, and Villanova signee Savon Goodman also get written up.

According to Alex Kline of TheRecruitScoop, Saint Joseph's will get an unofficial visit from 2013 Saint Anthony (NJ) guard Halice Cooke tomorrow. Cooke is a 6'2 shooting guard who played sparingly on a Saint Anthony team that finished the year ranked number one nationally.

Brian Bosworth of NBE Basketball Report has a write-up of 2012 New York wing Jeffland Neverson. Neverson's name has been linked with the Hawks for quite some time, and the Hawks pop up again in this article. Neverson is a 6'5 wing who, according to Bosworth, showed an ability to play the 2 guard this weekend at the Rumble in the Bronx. That article, which breaks down Neverson's game and school list, can be found here.

Finally, last Thursday night, the annual Rasual Butler All-City Classic took place. The event features a freshman, sophomore, and junior game. Alex Schwartz has an article up on the NBE Basketball Report site, which breaks down the games. One of the Hawks top targets in the class of 2013, point guard Rysheed Jordan, gives his school list. As does Chester forward Rondae Jefferson. Both players mention the Hawks. That article can be found here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Lavon Long: A First Look

Mount Saint Joseph High School, located in Baltimore, Maryland, has had its fair share of success in hoops over the years. Head coach Pat Clatchey has been coaching at the Baltimore school for 19 years, coached up and coached against serious talent, and even coached in the McDonald's All-American game. On Monday, I got a chance to speak with Coach Clatchey about one of his talented up-and-comers, sophomore forward Lavon Long.

Lavon Long, a 6'6 225-pound sophomore at the Baltimore school, started 15 games this year for Coach Clatchey. Lavon's physique belies the fact that he is only a 16 year old sophomore who still has next to no facial hair. In fact, his coach compared his build and attitude on the court to former University of North Carolina star Julius Peppers. Long is an athletic lefty who, according to his coach, has a chance to be a "premier-level rebounder" for a number of reasons. His strength, length, and desire to fight for loose balls allow him to rebound in heavy traffic.

Lavon has a quick first step that allows him to beat opponents both off the dribble and to loose balls. That quickness allows him to defend the perimeter, while his strength enables him to match up in the post against taller players. Lavon's hunger for the ball is also one of his biggest areas for improvement at the moment. Coach Clatchey explained that Lavon needs to use better discretion, not picking up quick fouls as he can be prone to do. With continued experience and coaching, that energy will be harnessed and Lavon will learn to keep himself from the ticky-tack fouls.

On the offensive side of the ball, Lavon is able to hit jumpers from 15 to 17 feet. In the post, he utilizes a lefty jump hook, but needs to continue working on finishing with his off-hand. Lavon is also able to push the ball after getting a rebound on the defensive end, handling the ball well for a big guy. Around the bucket, Lavon is active and looks to throw down whenever possible. At the moment, he is an adequate free throw shooter, but that is another area where he will look to improve over the summer..

While Coach Clatchey and I did not get into specifics when it comes to Lavon's recruitment, he indicated to me that Lavon is currently an A-10 or CAA caliber power forward. His strength is defending and rebounding the basketball. However, if Lavon grows another two inches, that will really open things up for him in terms of a future. Basketball also runs in Lavon's genes, as his mother, Lisa Long, played collegiately at Iowa for Vivian Stringer, and then played professionally in Europe.

This past weekend, Lavon and his high school team attended Richmond's Elite Camp, where he opened some eyes with his tenacious, athletic play. That play is certain to garner him accolades at both the high school and college levels. Lavon will team up again next year at Mount Saint Joseph's with a talented young core that also features highly-regarded 2013 shooting guard Kameron Williams.

With his skill set, size, athleticism, and tremendous coaching that he will receive at Mount Saint Joseph, look for Lavon Long not to remain under the radar much longer.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Price Picks up Offer From Hawks

Earlier today, Detroit Country Day School junior Jodan Price picked up a scholarship offer from Saint Joseph's. Price, a 6'7 shooting guard who has turned heads with his play this spring, announced the offer on Twitter, saying "Shoutout to Saint Joseph and the coaching staff for offering me a scholarship." Price's bread and butter is his shooting stroke, and that ability to knock down shots from deep certainly played an integral role in today's scholarship offer from the Hawks.

With the offer today from the Hawks, Price has now picked up three offers in the past 24 hours. Yesterday, he collected offers from both Lamar and Central Michigan. Price was also recently offered by Eastern Michigan. The offer from EMU was Price's first, and they have come rolling in since. In addition to these offers, Price has interest from other schools such as Temple, Maryland, Colorado, Oakland, and many more. An article on Jodan's recruitment, from, can be found here.

It is clear that the Hawks would like to sign a shooter in the 2012 class. Other names that fit that bill are Baltimore's Isaiah Miles and Indiana's Mike Ramey.

Photo Courtesy of

Thursday, June 2, 2011

NMH's Cummins to Harvard

Last July, I wrote an article about a player still relatively under the radar who had just picked up an offer from Saint Joseph's. That player, Northfield Mount Hermon's Evan Cummins, received significant attention from schools of all levels in the year since the Hawks made him an offer. Evan's recruitment came to an end on Tuesday, when he made his decision to play in the Ivy League for Tommy Amaker at Harvard.

Northfield Mount Hermon coach John Carroll confirmed Evan's commitment to me yesterday, saying that Evan did a good job with the recruiting process. He knew what he was looking for in a college and ultimately selected the best overall fit. Evan committed to Harvard over a number of other offers from wide-ranging conferences. Saint Joseph's, Davidson, Notre Dame, Northwestern, and others were under consideration by the 6'8 forward.

Although Evan is now off the board, his frontcourt teammate at NMH, Ethan O'Day, is another player with recruiting interest from Saint Joseph's. I will continue to track his recruitment and visit schedule over the summer.