More good stuff from Penn basketball recruit Jamal Lewis

Perhaps I'm only posting this because Penn basketball recruit Jamal Lewis scored 20 points in a win over Georgetown Day School, my roommates alma mater.

Maybe, but this Washington Post article on Lewis' most recent game has some more good press and interesting insight about the recruit, who is in his final year at Sidwell Friends school in Washington, D.C.

For example: we've known that he would be coming in to likely play point guard for the Red and Blue (though Rob Belcore can attest, that doesn't always work out). However, according to the Post, Lewis often plays forward — even center — at Sidwell.

And this:

Lewis plans to play point guard at Penn, but his versatility was attractive to college recruiters. Other colleges with more prominent basketball programs tried to recruit him, but Lewis had his mind set on the Ivy League school.

“I knew that whatever [scholarship offers] that would have come after summer, I would have been their second or third choice,” he said. “I was Penn’s first choice from the start.”

In the win over Georgetown Day, he was 8-for-10 with 11 rebounds, three assits and two blocks.

Hoops recruit Julian Harrell talks to about choosing Penn

Quakers recruit and Southern California native Julian Harrell spoke with about the reasons he chose Penn — one of which was his relationship with Miles Cartwright, whom Harrell said he calls his "older brother." Harrell currently plays for Cartwright's alma mater, Loyola High School, in Los Angeles.

The 6-foot-5 guard committed to Penn in October, and drew interest form top programs like Stanford, California, Duquesne and Boston College, among others, but ultimately decided upon Penn. "I have a really good relationship with the coaching staff, the history at the Palestra — it just felt like a really good fit for me," Harrell said.

More on potential 2013 recruit Watkins


2013 PF Isaiah Watkins spoke with Brian Snow from and said he has offers from Arkansas and Baylor. But he also asserts that he is very focused on academics — Watkins said he is talking with Harvard, Penn, WVU, Stanford, Iowa State, and others — and wants to take his time in his decision.

He added, "I want to go to a school that is competitive and plays in the
NCAA Tournament."

Basketball recruits Jamal Lewis, Tony Hicks face off in tournament

It was a serendipitous but fun matchup in Washington, D.C., last night as Sidwell Friends' (D.C.) point guard Jamal Lewis played against Tony Hicks of St. Rita's (Chicago) in the opening round of the Gonzaga DC Classic. The two seniors will be teammates next year on the Penn basketball team.

The Sidwell Quakers came away with a 63-46 win, as Lewis scored 17 on 6-for-14 shooting, 0-for-3 from deep. Hicks led St. Rita's with 16 points (he hit four 3-pointers on the night). Sidwell recovered from an early 18-7 hole, but built a 14-point lead by halftime and never looked back.

While Lewis got the win, Hicks is getting a little more attention. Last night, ESPN recruiting analyst Dave Telep tweeted this:

And published a solid feature on Hicks yesterday, asking whether he is Illinois' most underrated player:

"He is one of the most underrated players in the state," [coach Gary] DeCesare said. "He is a hard worker. He has improved every year. He is as good as anybody in the state. His work ethic separates him from other players."

The quote is from his coach, so take it for what it's worth. The article also talks a little about his recruitment to Penn:

Penn was impressed. They recruited Hicks harder than anyone else. In the end, he chose Penn over Loyola, South Florida, Tennessee, Dayton, Ohio, George Mason and Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


"They showed me they really wanted me," Hicks said. "I was hesitant at first because I felt it would be too learny and book-smart. But they were down-to-earth and genuine, cool people. They showed up at all my games and showed they really wanted me."

Basketball recruit Tony Hicks drops 38 in season opener

High school hoops is underway across the nation, and while the four Penn commits don't necessarily have college coaches to impress anymore, they're still putting in some work. Two future Quakers tipped off their senior seasons last night:

  • Tony Hicks, a guard out of St. Rita's in Chicago, scored an insane 38 points in his season opener last night, as St. Rita's beat Lake Forest Academy 79-61.
  • Julian Harrell and Loyola also won their season opener 81-42, as Harrell scored 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting. He also had four assists and six steals.
  • Big man Darian Nelson-Henry doesn't kick off his season until Friday, and point guard Jamal Lewis of Sidwell Friends plays tonight. Interestingly, Lewis will face Hicks and St. Rita's at the Gonzaga DC Classic in Washington on Dec. 9.

Andrew Lisa commits to Penn

According to a report in's Jersey Side Sports, Moorestown's Andrew Lisa has verbally committed to Penn.

Lisa, whose third-seeded Quakers (how ironic) defeated sixth-seeded Oakcrest in the opening round of the South Jersey Group 3 playoffs last Friday. He threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns as Moorestown (6-4) won 34-7.

The 6-foot-2, 200 pound pro-style quarterback had expressed interest in Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. He also received offers from Kent State, New Hampshire and Bryant.

He has thrown for over 4,200 yards and 38 touchdowns over the past two seasons for Moorestown. He will lead the Quakers against Hammontown (8-1) this Friday in the South Group 3 semifinal.


Penn track gets big commitment from NJ discus thrower



Last year we at DP Sports were all blown away by the dominance of freshman high-jumper Maalik Reynolds. In his first year of collegiate competition he shattered Penn records and won the coveted gold watch at Penn Relays.

It looks like men's coach Charlie Powell may have made another big splash in the recruiting department, getting a commitment from Sam Mattis, a discus thrower from East Brunswick, N.J.


"I want to get into finance, so when I got accepted into the Wharton School of Business that sealed the deal for me at Penn,'' said Mattis. ``You can only throw the discus for so long. You have to find something you are passionate about doing in your life, and business is something I have a passion for."

Mattis was the New Balance national champion in discus last spring, and owns the NJ State records for freshmen, sophomores and juniors. This year he's aiming higher.

"Hopefully I can throw it a lot further than the state record this season,'' said Mattis. "That's my goal and I'm working hard every day to throw it as far as I can.''

It wouldn't be a recruiting story if we didn't have a youtube highlight, so here's Mattis setting the junior state record at 207 feet, 2 inches

Ridiculous The Decision-style Yale commitment

If you have 13 minutes to spare today, use it to watch this youtube video. I don't know much about Justin Sears, the high-schooler featured. It looks like Penn was in his top 8 schools (but not top 4, as you'll see in the video), and he's rated a solid 86 by ESPN. But that's not the point.

The point is that Plainfield Sports News made an awkward, 13-minute video of his college decision, in the same vein as LeBron James' ESPN spot a year and a half ago. If you're strapped for time, fast forward to 9 minutes in, when he starts talking about colleges.

NCAA announces major men’s basketball recruiting changes

Posting on a high schooler's facebook wall? Not okay. Sending them a private message? Go for it.

The NCAA today announced a set of changes to the recruiting guidelines that basketball coaches must follow when courting high school prospects. The rule changes essentially opened up many restricted lines of communication — including social networks — for the basketball coaches. Now coaches will be able to "send unlimited phone calls and text messages to men’s basketball recruits. The deregulation extends to social media, starting June 15 after a recruit’s sophomore year," according to the NCAA's release.

Private messages on social media sites are also now allowed, while public ones will be banned so that recruiting efforts remain a private matter for institutions.

Outside of communication, the NCAA will once again allow coaches to recruit players for two weeekends in April at non-scholastic events, limiting summer recruiting to three four-day July periods.

@Pennbasketball was happy to see the NCAA make its changes:

Picture 1Picture 4

Other changes enacted, according to the NCAA website, include:

  • A start date for official visits beginning January 1 of the junior year, with schools able to pay travel expenses for the prospect and a parent/guardian.
  • Permitting some contact at a prospect’s educational institution during the junior year in conjunction with an evaluation, with some restrictions and requirements.
  • The July period will be limited to three four-day periods beginning Wednesday at 5 p.m. and ending Sunday at 5 p.m.
  • The April period will be limited to certified events that begin after 6 p.m. on Friday and end before 4 p.m. on Sunday.
  • Permitting staged, on-campus evaluations in conjunction with official visits, though further details will be considered.

Chat with Julian Harrell, Penn hoops commit [UPDATED]

Update: Check out the full story that appeared in Wednesday's issue of the DP.

I got a chance to speak with both Julian Harrell and his AAU coach Gary Franklin about the 6-foot-5 swingman's decision to commit to Penn. Harrell joins Jamal Lewis, Tony Hicks and Darien Nelson-Henry as the latest additions to the recruiting class of 2012.

Here are some nuggets that didn't make the article in full.

Harrell on his decision to come to Penn (joining his longtime friend Miles Cartwright) and forego offers to Stanford, Duquesne, and St. Mary's, his other top schools:

Number one, I have a really good relationship with coach Allen. [Also] Miles Cartwright … is like a big brother to me, I've known him since I was five years old.

And I really like the city ... and I like the players on the team. I thought it was the overall best fit.

According to Coach Franklin, Harrell's strengths include his competitiveness, winning mentality, and ability to create off dribble penetration. Harrell's weakness, according to some, is his outside shooting. Coach Franklin said he saw improvement in that aspect of Harrell's game this summer and provided some good insight:

I think the big thing honestly first is just confidence.

There were some times where Julian would have maybe opportunities to step up and take the shot, and instead he would look to create and get to the basket where maybe that was the best shot available in terms of maybe forcing the drive.

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