OT: Saint Joe's gets verbals from forwards, guards

Looks like our future-conference mate SJU has received a verbal from highly sought after Ahmad Nivins of Jersey City. The Hawks beat out some pretty decent competition to get him (ACC, Big East). From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

[b]Sought-after forward commits to St. Joseph’s

By Ray Parrillo
Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer
September 16, 2004

At the end of St. Joseph’s memorable season, Hawks coach Phil Martelli expressed hope that his team’s success would open some doors to recruiting that previously were closed.

Apparently, that is the case.

St. Joe’s yesterday received an oral commitment from Ahmad Nivins, a much-sought-after 6-foot-9 forward from perennial national powerhouse St. Anthony’s of Jersey City.

Although Nivins did not play basketball until his first year in high school and came off the bench as a junior at St. Anthony’s last season, he is ranked No. 7 among New Jersey’s top prospects by Rivals.com, an Internet recruiting service. Nivins, who visited St. Joe’s over the weekend, also was recruited by Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, Rutgers, Maryland and Massachusetts.

In a comment reported by Rivals.com, Nick Blatchford, Nivins’ AAU coach, said, “He’s an inexperienced late bloomer, but he’s got great athleticism. He’s a talent. Ahmad is just growing up right now. And with coach Bob Hurley working with him, he’ll maximize his athletic skills.”

Hurley, the longtime coach at St. Anthony’s, is regarded as one of the nation’s top scholastic coaches.

As a sophomore at Hudson County Prep, Nivins averaged 16 points per game. Seeking stronger competition, he transferred to St. Anthony’s but sat out the first 10 games as required by the transfer rule. He is a superb shot-blocker who must refine his offensive game.

Nivins is the second player to commit to St. Joe’s, joining Jordan Fowler, a 6-4 shooting guard from Montclair, N.J. The Hawks still have two scholarships remaining for the incoming class of 2005. The early period for signing binding letters of intent is in November.

St. Joe’s also completed its schedule for this season by adding Davidson, which will face the Hawks at the Palestra on Nov. 27. St. Joe’s opens the season at Kansas on Nov 23.[/b]

Speaking of Davidson, I noticed that the Wildcats have home games (real ones in Davidson, as opposed to the Duke game at the Coliseum) with Georgetown and Seton Hall this season.

Not being satisfied with getting a verbal from a prized forward earlier in the week, Martelli & Co. strikes again. Once more, they beat out the ACC and the Big East for this 6-4 wing shooter from Maryland.

[b]Hawks land another top recruit

By Dick Jerardi
Philadelphia Daily News
September 17, 2004

One of the keys to recruiting is to target a player early in the process and make sure when that player decides, he decides on your school. Saint Joseph’s is now 3-for-3 on their targets this fall.

Yesterday, 6-4 wing shooter Edwin Lashley, from St. Thom-as More Prep in Oakdale, Conn., gave the Hawks a verbal commitment. Earlier, 6-9 Ahmad Nivins, from St. Anthony’s High (Jersey City, N.J.) and 6-4 power guard Jordan Fowler, from Montclair (N.J.) High, announced for the Hawks.

Lashley was at St. Joe’s last weekend for an official visit. He had visits scheduled for St. John’s and Miami. He canceled both after deciding on the Hawks. Nivins had looked very hard at Pittsburgh and Seton Hall before going with St. Joe’s. If you are counting, that is four Big East schools that St. Joe’s has beaten out for two players. Hard to imagine that happens without the 30-2 season in 2003-04. Winning really does attract attention.

Lashley is billed as a terrific shooter. “That’s my speciality,” he said.

Pat Carroll’s wing shooter spot opens up after this season. Lashley figures to be in that mix. John Bryant’s power forward spot also opens up. Nivins agreed that potential quick playing time at that spot was a factor in his decision.

“Coach was telling me he needed a replacement for Pat Carroll and thought I’d be the perfect fit,” said Lashley, who is from Salisbury, Md.

The Hawks have one more scholarship to use. They are looking at big men Alvin Mofunanya, from Dwight Morrow High in Englewood, N.J., and Dimitrius Phillips, from Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass.[/b]

Going undefeated and making it to the ELite 8 sure does a lot for a program.

“One of the keys to recruiting is to target a player early in the process and make sure when that player decides, he decides on your school. Saint Joseph’s is now 3-for-3 on their targets this fall.”

Wafer, Gee, Morrow. Elite 8 and undefeated definitely makes a difference.

Dayton has gotten a couple of early commitments too, Charles Little (6-5, 225) and Desmond Adedeji (6-9, 265).

UD lands Tennessee prep star, 6-foot-5 Little projected as wing with the Flyers
By Bucky Albers, Dayton Daily News

DAYTON - After playing in a high school basketball tournament in Lexington, Ky., last year, Charles Little and his coach at Cleveland (Tenn.) High School drove to Dayton to see the UD Flyers play Xavier.

Ever since he saw the electric atmosphere at UD Arena that day, Little has ranked Dayton high among his possible college choices. On Tuesday, the 6-foot-5, 225-pound senior dropped everybody else.

Little became the second player in a week to inform UD coach Brian Gregory that he will accept UD’s offer of a basketball scholarship for the 2005-06 season. Desmond Adedeji, a 6-9, 265-pound center from DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, Md., committed to Dayton last weekend.

“I want to meet Desmond now,” Little said Wednesday. “He’s going to be my roommate.”

With the two verbal commitments, UD’s scholarship allotment is filled. Gregory and his staff can concentrate on recruiting high school juniors for 2006-07.

Little, who calls himself “a slasher more than anything,” plays in the paint for Cleveland High School. He is being projected as a wing player for the Flyers, who will lose perimeter players Mark Jones, Marques Bennett, Logan White and Warren Williams in the next two years.

“He’s a strong, intelligent athlete, a good-looking kid,” Cleveland High School coach Aaron Green said. “He has started for me since he was a freshman. He’s really good in transition, and he’s strong enough to guard post players. This summer he played the ‘3’ position in AAU ball (for the Atlanta Celtics) and excelled.”

Little drew the attention of many schools this summer when he was named to the all-star team at the prestigious ABCD Camp at Teaneck, N.J., but he was on Dayton’s radar screen long before that.

Green played at the University of Tennessee when current UD assistant Billy Schmidt was a UT assistant. Green informed Schmidt last season that he was coaching a good college prospect.

Schmidt went to Tennessee to take a look at Little and was impressed. Dayton immediately began recruiting the young man who averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Blue Raiders. While Mississippi, Tennessee, Houston, Penn State and Boston College also offered scholarships, Little chose Dayton after making an official visit last weekend.

“I liked everything up there… the players, the coaches,” said Little, who hung out with the Flyers, especially with UD freshmen Brian Roberts and Norman Plummer.

DePaul and Marquette are both after an Israeli guard who would be eligible this season.

[b]The son of European basketball legend and former UNLV player Mickey Berkowitz, Niv Berkowitz is crafty, quick and equally strong with either hand. According to a source who has seen him play, Berkowitz possesses a style similar to former Temple standout Pepe Sanchez but is a much a better perimeter shooter.

Berkowitz caught the attention of a number of schools at the under-18 European Championships in Zaragoza, Spain, in July by averaging 14.4 points, 1.8 assists and 2.1 steals in eight games. He also shot 49.2% overall, 53.8% from three-point range and 81.0% from the free-throw line.[/b]

Here’s the link to the entire story @ JSOnline.com: Golden Eagles scout Israeli guard

Saint Joseph’s has completed its recruiting for 2005-06 with the verbal of 6-8 forward Alvin Mofunanya of Englewood, NJ.

[b]NJ forward picks Hawks

Philadelphia Daily News
September 22, 2004

With nearly 2 months until the beginning of the early signing period on Nov. 10, Saint Joseph’s recruiting is over. The Hawks got their fourth verbal commitment when 6-8 forward Alvin Mofunanya from Dwight Morrow High in Englewood, N.J., said he would be coming to Hawk Hill.

Earlier, St. Joe’s got verbals from 6-4 wing shooter Edwin Lashley, of St. Thomas More Prep in Oakdale, Conn.; 6-9 forward Ahmad Nivins, of St Anthony’s High in Jersey City, N.J.; and 6-4 power guard Jordan Fowler, of Montclair (N.J.) High.

“He’s a very good shot blocker, strong rebounder, a great defender,” Dwight Morrow coach Gerald Akridge said of Mofunanya. “He’s still learning, and I think he’s still growing.”

Mofunanya averaged 12 points and 10 rebounds last season. He led North Jersey in blocked shots with around five per game.

Mofunanya also looked at George Washington, Clemson, East Carolina, Fordham, St. Bonaventure, Fairleigh Dickinson and Marist. Once he made his official visit to St. Joe’s last weekend, his mind was made up.

“Everyone knows about the program,” Akridge said. “Two first-round [NBA] draft choices, undefeated regular season, Elite Eight. I had a great time watching them play.”

That two other North Jersey players already committed to St. Joe’s helped persuade Mofunanya. He played on the same AAU team as Fowler. Mofunanya plays at the same high school as Bill Willoughby (who jumped right from high school to the pros in the 1970s). Long Island University legend Sherman White also went to Dwight Morrow.[/b]

Link: Philly.com

Oh that’s right, you can’t.