Next to scheduling, recruiting is the toughest task for any college basketball coach. It’s a never-ending job. Coaches juggle numerous classes at once and dozens of recruits, all while following the NCAA’s strict guidelines that limit when you can contact recruits and how you can communicate with them.
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Dayton Flyers coach Archie Miller doesn’t put much stock in recruiting rankings … and for good reason. The three players in his 2013 class — Scoochie Smith, Kyle Davis and Kendall Pollard — helped lead the team to the top 25 for a chunk of the 2015-16 season, and that class ranked 60th in the country, according to 247Sports.com.
Davis and Smith earned four or three stars in recruiting rankings. Pollard was a three-star recruit. The leading scorer a season ago, junior Charles Cooke, was a two-star recruit, and now he’s a player of the year candidate in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
In other words, nothing will be decided on paper. This list ranks the classes of newcomers in Atlantic 10 men’s basketball — not just freshmen, but graduate transfers who can play immediately, transfers who sat out last season and players who missed their freshman season because of injuries or academic reasons.
UMass was the only A-10 school to make the Rivals.com list of the top 35 recruiting classes. The class ranks 30th. ESPN ranks it 27th. They also get help in the form of a transfer and a four-star recruit who joined the team last year but couldn’t play.
Transfer: Zach Lewis, G, 6-3, 180, Windsor, Conn., Fishburne Military School, (Previous college: Canisius).
Redshirt freshman: Luwane Pipkins, PG, 5-11, 165, Chicago, Bogan Prep.
Incoming freshmen: DeJon Jarreau, PG, 6-5, 180, New Orleans, McDonogh 35 High School; Unique McLean, G, 6-2, 175, Brooklyn, N.Y., MacDuffie School; Tyrn Flowers, SF, 6-8, 205, Waterbury, Conn., Sacred Heart High School; Brison Greshman, PF, 6-9, 210, New Orleans, Notre Dame Prep; Chris Baldwin, PF, 6-8, 230, Springfield, Mass., Notre Dame Prep.
Notes: Lewis averaged 12.5 points as a sophomore at Canisius. He sat out last season after transferring. … Pipkins, a four-star recruit, according to ESPN, was ruled academically ineligible last season. … Jarreau is the highest-ranked 2016 recruit in the A-10. He’s No. 38 in the Rivals.com rankings and 63rd in ESPN’s top 100. … Jarreau and Baldwin are four-star recruits. The other three freshmen are three-star recruits.
2. LA SALLE
The Explorers played short-handed last season in part because they had three transfer players from major programs biding their time on the bench. They’ll get their chance this season.
Transfers: Demetrius Henry, F/C, 6-9, 225, R-Jr., Miami, Fla., Northeast High School (Previous college: South Carolina); B.J. Johnson, G/F, 6-7, 185, R-Jr., Philadelphia, Lower Merion High School (Previous college: Syracuse); Pookie Powell, G, 6-0, 185, R-So., Orlando, Dr. Phillips High School (Previous college: Memphis).
Incoming freshmen: Cian Sullivan, C, 7-1, 210, Barrington, Ireland, St. Andrew’s School; Saul Phiri, G, 6-4, 200, Haverhill, Mass., Putnam Science Academy (Conn.).
Notes: Henry started 19 games as a sophomore at South Carolina and averaged 6.0 points. … Johnson started four games as a sophomore at Syracuse and averaged 4.3 points. … Powell was ranked as high as 77th in the nation by the national recruiting websites in the class of 2013. He started 11 games in his only season at Memphis, averaging 4.3 points. … Phiri, a three-star recruit, is a native of Zimbabwe who moved to the United States with his family when he was 3. He played his senior year at Dayton senior point guard Scoochie Smith’s high school. … La Salle was expected to have another transfer, Savon Goodman, of Arizona State, but he withdrew from the school for personal reasons in June.
3. GEORGE WASHINGTON
The Colonials have a deep freshman class and one of the most intriguing graduate transfers in the conference. George Washington’s freshman class ranks 73rd in the nation, according to 247Sports.com.
Graduate transfer: Patrick Steeves, G, 6-7, 220, Montreal, The Hotchkiss School, Conn. (Previous college: Harvard).
Transfer: Jaren Sina, G, 6-2, 193, RS-Jr., Lake Hopatcong, N.J., Gill St. Bernard’s School (Previous college: Seton Hall).
Incoming freshmen: Jair Bolden, G, 6-4, 190, Westchester, Pa., Westtown School; Kevin Marfo, F, 6-8, 235, Worcester, Mass., Worcester Academy; Darnell Rogers, 5-3, 145, Atlanta, Shiloh High School; Arnaldo Toro, F, 6-9, 240, Newark, N.J., St. Benedict’s Prep; Collin Smith, C, 6-10, 225, Jacksonville, Fla., The Bolles School; Justin Williams, SG, 6-4, 197, Severn, Md., Annapolis Area Christian School.
Notes: Sina started 23 games as a sophomore at Seton Hall, averaging 7.0 points per game. He sat out last season after transferring to George Washington. … Steeves didn’t play as a freshman at Harvard and then missed the next two seasons with injuries. Last season, he averaged 9.5 points and shot 45.8 percent from 3-point range. He has two years of eligibility remaining. … Rogers is the son of Shawnta Rogers, a former GW guard who was the 1999 A-10 Player of the Year. … Rivals.com rated Marfo 189th in the class of 2016. He was also considering Boston College, Providence, Rhode Island and DePaul.
The Flyers have a small class of newcomers, but they make up for it in quality with two players who were top-100 recruits. The two freshmen were enough for 247Sports.com to rank Dayton’s class 69th in the nation.
Transfer: Josh Cunningham, F, 6-7, 216, R-So, Chicago, Ill., Morgan Park High School (Previous college: Bradley).
Incoming freshmen: Trey Landers, G, 6-4, 220, Huber Heights, Wayne High School; Kostas Antetokounmpo, F, 6-9, 190, Whitefish Bay, Wisc., Dominican High School.
Notes: Cunningham sat out last season after playing his freshman season at Bradley. He averaged 7.9 points and 7.5 rebounds. He ranked 88th in the class of 2014, according to Rivals.com. … Antetokounmpo is a native of Greece who attended high school north of Milwaukee. His brother Giannis plays for the Milwaukee Bucks. He ranked 88th in the class of 2016, according to Rivals.com. … Landers is the second player from Wayne, to join the Flyers in as many years. His former high school teammate, Xeyrius Williams, is a sophomore forward.
5. VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH
Will Wade’s recruiting class ranked 43rd in the nation, according to 247Sports.
Redshirt freshman: Samir Doughty, G, 6-4, 185, Philadelphia, Math, Civics and Sciences High School.
Incoming freshmen: De’Riante Jenkins, G, 6-5, 185, Eutawville, S.C., Hargrave Military Academy; Malik Crowfield, G, 6-4, 180, LaPlace, La., Riverside Academy; Marquell Fraser, G, 6-5, 205, Hamilton, Ont., Hill Academy.
Notes: Rivals.com ranked Jenkins 44th in the class of 2016. He’s the second-highest ranked A-10 recruit in the class of 2016. He ranks 59th in ESPN’s top 100. … Doughty sat out last season as a NCAA partial qualifier. He ranked 35th in the nation among point guards in 2015. … VCU has a transfer who wil sit out this season: Isaac Vann, a 6-6 guard who averaged 16.4 points as a freshman at Maine.
6. ST. BONAVENTURE
The Bonnies, who tied Dayton and VCU for the regular-season championship last season, will get help from three transfers.
Graduate transfer: Chinonso Obokoh, C, 6-9, 215, Rochestern, N.Y., Bishop Kearney High School (Previous college: Syracuse).
Transfers: David Andoh, F, 6-7, 220, Sr., Montreal, Quebec, IMG Academy (Previous college: Liberty); Matt Mobley, G, 6-3, 185, Jr., Worcester, Mass., St. Peter Marian High School (Previous college: Central Connecticut State); Courtney Stockard, F/G, 6-5, 195, St. Louis, Jennings High School (Previous college: Allen Community College).
Incoming freshmen: Tareq Coburn, G, 6-4, 190, Rosedale, N.Y., Cardozo High School; Amadi Ikpeze, F/C, 6-10, 245, Amherst, N.Y., Amherst High School; Josh Ayeni, PF, 6-7, 200, Fort Washington, Md., Impact Academy.
Notes: Obokoh saw limited action in two seasons with the Orange. ESPN ranked him the 19th-best center in the country in 2013. His family is originally from Nigeria. … Andoh is playing for his fourth college in five years. He played at San Jose State, Merritt College and then Liberty. He sat out last season. He averaged 10 points per game as a junior at Liberty. … Mobley sat out last season and has two seasons of eligibility remaining. He averaged 17.2 points per game as a sophomore. … Ayeni announced his verbal commitment June 19, but St. Bonaventure has not announced his signing. Stockard broke his foot in the preseason last year and missed the season. He averaged 23.5 points as a sophomore. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining.
7. RHODE ISLAND
Dan Hurley’s freshman class ranks 75th in the nation, according to 247Sports, and fifth among A-10 teams behind UMass, VCU, UD and GW. The Rams will also benefit from the return of their injured star, E.C. Matthews, a 6-5 guard who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first game last year.
Transfer: Stanford Robinson, G, 6-4, 200, R-Jr., Landover, Md., Findlay Prep (Previous college: Indiana).
Incoming freshmen: Cyril Langevine, F, 6-7, 225, East Orange, N.J., The Patrick School; Jeff Dowtin, PG, 6-3, 180, Upper Marlboro, Md., St. John’s College; Mike Layssard, F, 6-9, 280, Lena, La., Northwood High School; Michael Tertsea, C, 6-10, 225, Makurdi, Nigeria, John Carroll School (Baltimore).
Notes: Robinson appeared in 31 games two seasons ago at Indiana and made one start. Rivals.com rated him 56th in the class of 2013. … Tertsea left his home in Nigeria to attend high school in the United States. His classmates raised money to fly his mom from Nigeria to his high school graduation.
The Dukes lost their four leading scorers from a team that finished 17-17. They get a boost from the first two graduate transfers in school history.
Graduate transfers: Emile Blackman, 6-3, 195, Dix Hills, N.Y., Half Hollow Hills West High School (Previous college: Niagara University); Kale Abrahamason, F, 6-8, 215, West Des Moines, Iowa, Valley High School (Previous college: Drake University).
Transfer: Tarin Smith, G, 6-2, 180, So., Ocean Township, N.J., St. Anthony High School (Previous college: Nebraska).
Incoming freshmen: Mike Lewis II, G, 6-1, 175, St. Louis, Chaminade; Spencer Littleson, G, 6-4, 195, Rochester Hills, Mich., Rochester Adams High School; Kellon Taylor, F, 6-5, 220, Landover, Md., Dematha Catholic High School; Isiaha Mike, F, 6-8, 200, Scarborough, Ont., Trinity International (Nev.).
Notes: Abrahamson averaged 11.1 points last season at Drake. He played his first two seasons at Northwestern and then sat out the 2014-15 season after transferring to Drake. … Blackman averaged 15.8 points last season at Niagara. … Smith averaged 4.5 points as a freshman at Nebraska. He sat out last season after transferring. … North Pole Hoops ranked Mike the third-best 2016 prospect from Canada. … Taylor will also play football.
Richmond landed a strong recruiting class full of local talent but got bad news on the recruiting front Wednesday when Florida A&M grad transfer Malcolm Bernard, who verbally committed to the program in April, told ESPN he has reopened his commitment. The freshman class ranks 85th, according to 247Sports.
Grad transfer: Kwesi Abakah, 6-8, F, Northeastern.
Transfer: Solly Stansbury, F, 6-7, 200, France.
Incoming freshmen: Nick Sherod, G, 6-5, 185, Richmond, Va., St. Christopher’s School; De’Monte Buckingham, G, 6-4, 185, Henrico, Va., Henrico High School; Grant Golden, F, 6-8, 205, Winchester, Va., St. James School.
Notes: Abakah averaged 13 minutes per game last season. … According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, a NCAA review will determine if Stansbury will be eligible this season or next season. He’s expected to have two seasons of eligibility. He’s the son of Terence Stansbury, a star at Temple in the early 1980s. Stansbury graduated from Toms River High School in New Jersey and then played amateur basketball in France for three years.
The Wildcats add only one new freshman, and he’s the sixth foreign-born player on the roster. Two freshmen joined the program a year ago but didn’t play because of injuries.
Transfer: Will Magarity, F, 6-11, 240, Jr., Stockholm Sweden (Previous college: Boston College).
Redshirt freshmen: Dusan Kovacevic, F, 6-10, 230, Novi Sad, Serbia; KiShawn Pritchett, G, 6-6, 220, Mooresville, N.C., Lake Norman High School.
Incoming freshman: Jon Axel Gudmundsson, G, 6-4, 175, Grindavik, Iceland,
Notes: Kovacevic underwent knee surgery before last season and missed the season. … Pritchett also earned a medical redshirt as a freshman because of a knee injury. … Magarity played two seasons at Boston College. He averaged 3.9 points as a sophomore. He sat out last season after transferring to Davidson. He will serve as one of four team captains in his first season on the court. … Gudmundsson was born in Germany but is a native of Iceland and has played for U-15, U-16, U-17, U-18 and U-20 national teams in Iceland.
Fordham’s only incoming freshman is their only player from the Bronx, where Fordham is located. The Rams also add two junior college transfers.
Graduate transfer: JaVontae Hawkins, G, 6-5, 211, Flint, Mich., Huntington Prep (Previous college: Eastern Kentucky).
Transfers: Perris Hicks, G, 6-1, 180, Jr., Pasadena, Calif., Blair High School (Previous college: San Bernadino Valley College); Will Tavares, G, 6-6, 205, Jr., Providence, R.I., Hendrick High School (Previous colllege: Monroe Community College).
Incoming freshman: Chuba Ohams, F, 6-7, 180, Bronx, N.Y., Wadleigh High School.
Notes: Hawkins played his first two seasons at South Florida, sat out a season and then played one season at Eastern Kentucky. He ranked fifth in the Ohio Valley Conference with 15.1 points per game last season. … Hicks averaged 17.1 points as a sophomore at San Bernadino last season. … Tavares averaged 12.2 points per game last season.
12. ST. JOSEPH’S
Coming off a 28-8 season and an Atlantic 10 tournament championship, Phil Martelli’s four-man freshman class began summer workouts with the Hawks at the end of June.
Incoming freshmen: Lorenzo Edwards, PF, 6-7, 200, Lake Forest, Ill., Lake Forest High School; Gerald Blount, F, 6-7, 205, Pomfret, Conn., Pomfret School; Charles Brown, F, 6-6, 180, Philadelphia, Thomas More School (Conn.); Nick Robinson, SG, 6-6, 185, Chicago, Kenwood Academy.
Notes: Brown averaged 16.4 points as a senior. He played his first three seasons of high school basketball at George Washington High School in Philadelphia. … Edwards was a first-team all-state performer in Illinois.
13. GEORGE MASON
The Patriots add four freshmen who average two stars, according to VerbalCommits.com.
Redshirt freshman: Daniel Relvao, F, 6-9, 236, Coimbra, Portugal, Mountain Mission High School (Va.).
Incoming freshmen: Ian Boyd, G, 6-4, 185, Apex, N.C., Apex High School; Justin Kier, G, 6-3, 180, Spotswood, Va., Spotswood High School; Kamari Newman, 6-4, G, Detroit, Mich., East English Village Prep Academy; Troy Temara, F, 6-8, 225, Syracuse, N.Y., West Genesee High School.
14. SAINT LOUIS
The Billikens, who have a new head coach in Travis Ford, will rank higher before the 2017-18 season because they add three transfers who will be able to play then. Michigan State forward Javon Bess, Central Florida guard Adonys Henriquez and Rutgers forward D.J. Foreman are sitting out this season.
Redshirt freshman: Elliott Welmer, F, 6-9, 215, Columbus, Ind., Brighton Academy (Maine).
Incoming freshmen: Jalen Johnson, F., 6-7, 190, Baton Rouge, La., University Laboratory School; Zeke Moore, G/F, 6-6, 175, St. Louis, Riverview Gardens High School.
Notes: Welmer earned a medical redshirt last season after suffering a foot injury in the preseason and missing the season.
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