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Recruiting Roundup: Winning means more college offers for Haverford School’s Christian Ray

July features three five-day stints during which college coaches can watch high school prospects.

Haverford School's Christian Ray (right) drives against Roman Catholic's Chris Kuhar.
Haverford School's Christian Ray (right) drives against Roman Catholic's Chris Kuhar.Read moreLOU RABITO / Staff

For more on recruiting, go to City of Basketball Love

There's nothing wrong with a high school basketball prospect acknowledging that his primary objective this time of year is to get as many college looks as possible. The three five-day July stints during which college coaches can watch high school prospects are called live recruiting periods for a reason.

But Christian Ray swears figuring out his future school isn't his top priority this offseason.

"I take it definitely seriously," the Haverford School senior said of his recruitment. "But my focus this summer is just to win. I'm not necessarily worried about what I get or who's interested, stuff like that. My job is just to go out there and compete and get as many wins as possible."

That mentality is a major reason Ray has garnered offers from more than a half-dozen Division I programs, with quite a few others in the low-to-mid-major range keeping a close eye. And he's done plenty of winning, helping lead the Fords to their first Inter-Ac League title in nearly two decades this past season, averaging better than 20 points during a 10-0 sweep of the six-team league.

A Chester County native, Ray spent his first two seasons in high school at Octorara before heading to the Haverford School's Main Line campus and repeating his sophomore year in 2016-17.

Now a 6-foot-5, 210-pound wing, Ray originally made his mark as a workhorse forward who was relentless on the glass, piling up double-doubles even early in his high school career. He's spent much of the last few years expanding his range to the three-point arc as well as improving his handles to be able to attack the rim off the bounce.

Ray said he has been training with former 76ers strength and conditioning coach Jim Ferris, who has worked with numerous professional players over the last 15 years.

He said he is "just [working on] being a guard as much as possible, and I think it's starting to get there. When coaches are calling me, they're talking about me being a guard for their program."

Bowling Green, the first school to offer a scholarship back in the fall of 2016, is still high on Ray, as are Stony Brook, NJIT, Central Connecticut, Dartmouth, Holy Cross, Brown, Binghamton and Lehigh. Of that group, only Dartmouth, Holy Cross and Brown have not offered a scholarship or spot on the roster.

In June, Ray — who plays his summer ball with K-Low Elite on the Adidas Gauntlet circuit — completed a trip to see Brown, Holy Cross, Binghamton and Stony Brook. He also visited Lehigh earlier in the spring.

Previous recruiting stories:

Zach Crisler

Chris Arcidiacono

Kyle Thompson and Darius Kinnel

Seth Lundy

Chris Ings

AJ Hoggard

Ray said his decision won't come until the fall at the earliest. He will sit down with his parents and coaches after the three Wednesday-to-Sunday live periods in July and plan his visits. A spring decision is possible, but he did say, "I won't be a kid that waits until now next year."

The live periods are July 11-15, 18-22, and 25-29, 5 p.m. Wednesday through 5 p.m. Sunday each time.

Ultimately, Ray said, it will come down to two main factors.

"Education and basketball," Ray said. "I like to stay a little bit closer to home, but there's nothing really except for education and basketball. Those are the two biggest things."

College recruiting update

Drexel Dragons

Rising scholarship seniors: Troy Harper, Trevor John
Committed 2019 players: None
Projected open scholarships: 2
Notes: The Dragons roster is going to look different this year, with coach Zach Spiker bringing in five new players: grad transfer Trevor John (Cal Poly), junior-college transfer Zach Walton (Edmonds CC, Lynnwood, Wash.), and freshmen Matey Juric (Lake Forest Academy, Ill.), Coletrane Washington (Quaker Valley, Pa.) and Cam Wynter (DME Sports Academy, Fla.). They are all able to play this year. Also eligible this season is Navy transfer James Butler, who sat out last season. Several local targets are in Spiker's sights for this class, including Bonner-Prendergast big Tariq Ingraham and Lower Merion wing Jack Forrest.

La Salle Explorers

Rising scholarship seniors: Pookie Powell
Committed 2019 players: None
Projected open scholarships: 1
Notes: New Explorers coach Ashley Howard and his staff got busy in their first couple of months on the job, landing several transfers who will bolster Howard's roster for the next few seasons. First, he added South Carolina transfer David Beatty, an Imhotep grad who will sit this year and play the next three. Scott Spencer, a sit-one/play-two transfer from Clemson, followed soon after that, and Boston University grad transfer Cheddi Mosely, who committed in June, will be eligible this fall. That's 13 scholarships accounted for, and with Powell the only scholarship senior on the roster, that leaves only one spot available for 2019.

Penn Quakers

Rising seniors: Jackson Donahue, Tyler Hamilton, Max Rothschild, Jake Silpe, Collin McManus
Committed 2019 players: Max Martz (Upper Arlington, Ohio), Lucas Monroe (Abington, Pa.)
Projected open scholarships: N/A
Notes: Coach Steve Donahue has certainly built on the momentum of the program's first Ivy League title — and NCAA tournament appearance — in 11 years, picking up two quality 6-5 wings in Monroe, a big local point guard who can get to the hoop, and Martz, a strong-bodied sharpshooter who could play the "2" through "4" in Donahue's free-flowing system. With no athletic scholarships in the Ivy League and thus no scholarship limit, the Quakers still have room to add a quality player or two should they desire. But 2020 is a key class, and that work has already started.

St. Joseph’s Hawks

Rising scholarship seniors: Chris Clover, Markell Lodge
Committed 2019 players: None
Projected open scholarships: 4
Notes: At the moment, there's plenty of room for the Hawks' incoming freshman class. They have only 11 scholarship players on the roster after bringing in one freshman last fall (Jared Bynum) and one transfer this offseason (Ryan Daly). Recently, St. Joe's hosted St. Maria Goretti (Hagerstown, Md.) wing R.J. Blakney, who holds an offer from the Hawks' staff, one of a good number they've dished out to regional prospects. With plenty of talent projected on the roster already for 2019-20, this isn't necessarily a crucial class for coach Phil Martelli to add bodies. So they're going big, like aiming for Imhotep's Donta Scott.

Temple Owls

Rising scholarship seniors: Shizz Alston, Ernest Aflakpui
Committed 2019 players: None
Projected open scholarships: 3
Notes: Temple finds itself in an interesting coaching situation, with Fran Dunphy technically in charge through the end of the 2018-19 season but Aaron McKie waiting in the wings to take over. So it's McKie who is calling the shots from a recruiting standpoint and who now becomes the closer at his alma mater. The Owls are involved with several local products, including Roman's Seth Lundy and Imhotep's Donta Scott. Either one of them, or several others in the mix, would end a string of three straight classes for Temple without a true local product, though incoming freshman Arashma Parks did his prep year at the Phelps School in Malvern.

Villanova Wildcats

Rising scholarship seniors: Phil Booth, Joe Cremo, Eric Paschall
Committed 2019 players: Eric Dixon (Abington, Pa.), Justin Moore (DeMatha, Hyattsville, Md.)
Projected open scholarships: 2
Notes: The Wildcats are already well ahead of the recruiting curve for next year, with two top-75 recruits already on board. Dixon, a 6-8 lefthander from the Philly 'burbs, is an offensively talented big body with range out to the three-point arc and a terrific motor. Moore, a 6-4 wing guard, comes out of one of the most storied high school programs in the nation. Coach Jay Wright and staff are still in the running for several other coveted recruits, including Ranney School (N.J.) five-star wings Bryan Antoine and Scottie Lewis, and Bonner-Prendergast guard Isaiah Wong.