St. Joseph’s gained its first basketball commitment for 2021 when guard Erik Reynolds announced his decision on Saturday afternoon.
Reynolds hails from the Washington metro area known for producing quality basketball talent. He plays at the Bullis School in Potomac, Md.
At 6-foot-2, he’s capable of playing both guard spots and is a three-level scorer. Reynolds chose the Hawks over George Mason, Xavier, Virginia Commonwealth, and Richmond. He is the Hawks’ highest-rated commitment since 2010, according to 247Sports.
“I developed a real good relationship with coach Lange,” Reynolds said. “He talked to me about a lot of things outside of basketball. I also got introduced to the more of the coaching staff rather than the head coach and the head assistant, so that stood out a lot.”
St. Joes’ communication with Reynolds included a lot of phone calls, a zoom call with the coaches and a virtual tour of campus.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Reynolds hasn’t had a chance to visit Hawk Hill. He’s hoping to tour the campus on his own if the NCAA’s current restrictions won’t allow for an official visit.
“I will find sometime when I’m not practicing with AAU to get down there and really look at the campus for myself,” Reynolds. “I just want to get up there and experience a whole day.”
Reynolds isn’t a stranger to elite competition. He played for one of the most well-known and talented programs on the AAU circuit. Team Takeover in Washington churns out high-level, Division I talent every year. Alumni include NBA players Jerami Grant, Jerian Grant, Victor Oladipo, Josh Hart, and current Villanova guard Justin Moore.
“Just being with that team plus the coaching staff just changes your mindset, and it really gives you nothing but room to get better if you attack it right,” Reynolds said. “They get you better each and very day.”
Billy Lange and his staff are recruiting at a high level. The Hawks have six newcomers for next season; three transfers and three high school signees. Former Imhotep Charter star Dahmir Bishop is the highest-ranked player listed on the roster out of high school, but he transferred from Xavier.
Assistant coach Brenden Straughn played a major role in Reynolds’ recruitment. Straughn was hired in 2019 from Loyola University (Md.). His has strong connections in the D.C. area. He coached more than 70 Division I players as an assistant and associate head coach for Team Takeover.
“I’ve known [Straughn] since like eighth grade,” Reynolds said. “When he moved on to Loyola he was recruiting me with them, and when he moved to St. Joe’s, he was recruiting me a little harder. We’ve always had a good relationship, and it just got better each time we talked.”