Posted On: 05/8/20 2:20 PM
It doesn’t really matter which national publication you use, DeMatha Catholic will appear as a top-10 team nationally with a dominant 30-3 overall record and a WCAC championship to show for it. As they prepared to take the stage in the Alhambra Invitational and likely be invited to GEICO Nationals, COVID-19 pressed pause and would eventually cancel the remainder of the high school basketball season. The Stags were led by their senior duo of Earl TimberlakeEarlTimberlake6'6" | SFDeMatha | 2020State#29NationMD (Miami) and Hunter DickinsonHunterDickinson7'2" | CDeMatha | 2020State#50NationMD (Michigan) to go along with a stout surrounding cast filled with prospects ready to blossom into the next big name to hail from Madison St.
In this absence of AAU, college coaches who are trying to gain ground with their 2021 class are limited to solely watching film, having phone/video calls or exchanging text messages with prospects. None of us really knew what to expect within the recruitment game with live action being put on hold, but a few prospects have seen a drastic uptick in their recruitment. 2021 DeMatha guard Jordan HawkinsJordanHawkins6'6" | SFDeMatha | 2021State#193NationMD is name gaining serious national attention. Since early April, Hawkins has received offers from four schools: Georgetown, Lousiville, UConn and Pittsburgh.
“It’s really been ever since our WCAC championship game,” Hawkins told Prep Hoops. “I’ve been getting a lot of calls from big time schools in the Big East and ACC. Schools said they’ve been watching a ton of film on me and like the fact that I’m a big guard who can shoot the ball, defend and facilitate a little. I need to work on my handles so I can get more comfortable with that part, but they like that I can be a combo guard who can get it done.”
Clemson is another ACC program who is getting in the mix. Expect the ACC and Big East list to continue to grow as time goes on. Hawkins plans on taking his time no matter what happens. He told me that he doesn’t plan on making a decision until next spring so he can thoroughly research each school. Thing could change along the way, but that’s what Hawkins’ mindset is as of now.
The 2019-20 season was Hawkins’ first as a member of the Stags. His two previous seasons were spent at Gaithersburg where his name spread quickly after a deep run to the Final Four of the Class 4A state tournament. Transitioning from public school to private school is always a step up for transfers, but when you consider the league Hawkins would join is considered one of the top that the country has to offer, it brought questions as to how he’d fit in.
“Well when we first started in the preseason I had to guard Earl a lot and sometimes, even Hunter,” Hawkins continued, “it didn’t take me long to learn from those guys. Coach Jones really helped me get ready for what the WCAC brings and preparing for the speed of the game it offers. It’s way different than anything I’ve been a part of. Players are way more advanced and have good IQ.”
Often categorized as a sniper for his long-range shooting, Hawkins brings much more to the table at 6-foot-5. He’s long and athletic, which makes him a menace to contain around the rim in transition. He improved off the dribble, is getting used to playing a more physical and is becoming a valuable defender with his combination of size, length and athleticism.
The Stags’ roster will undergo big changes as Timberlake, Dickinson, Paul SmithPaulSmith6'8" | CDeMatha | 2020State#374NationMD (East Tennessee St.) and Donovan MillerDonovanMiller6'1" | CGDeMatha | 2020StateMD (American International) all set off to begin their college careers. Hawkins will be expected to step up as a senior leader and he knows what Coach Jones expects of him without it needing to be said.
“I’m just trying to be the best for my team honestly, I know I’ll have to take on a bigger role next year and I feel like guys like Earl, Hunter and Coach Jones prepared me for that,” Hawkins said.