The pipeline is open and as strong as ever.
Barry Evans, a postgrad player on PSA’s Prep team, announced last week that he was committing to St. Bonaventure University, making him the third Mustang in the last four years to join the A-10 power. Kyle Lofton and Osun Osunniyi are seniors at the small Olean, N.Y. school. “I talked to Kyle and I talked to Osun when I was up there,” said Evans, who visited the campus just days before his commitment. “They said that St. Bonaventure is built around underrated people and I felt that I was underrated too. When I got there it felt like a family and where I belonged. I glued with the guys real well. We connected and it felt like I knew them, same as with here at Putnam. I just felt it, really. My mom felt it, my dad felt it. They’re the closest people to me and if I’m feeling it too, why not make that decision.”
It’s a decision that the 6-foot-8 wing, who figures to be one of the most versatile players PSA has ever had, wasn’t planning to make. He had originally thought he would play through the season and wait until the spring to commit, once he had more offers to choose from. But the visit changed everything. “I like small places,” the Baltimore native said, acknowledging the discrepancy between his hometown and his new future home. “I like small towns. I didn’t want a big school. If I’m in school and there’s 2,000 people, that means I can get more help when I need it.”
The recruiting process had become a long and stressful one, he said. But St. Bonaventure was different, and not just because they had only been talking for a little more than a month. “The first day we had open gyms up here (September 9) was when we started,” Evans said. “But we built a good relationship quickly, and I felt like I just had to do this. It feels good, really, to have all that pressure off my back. I just felt like I had to do this. Now I can just go out and play my game, play free.”
That could be trouble then for PSA opponents.
“Barry can do a lot of things really, really well,” Mustangs coach Tom Espinosa said. “He can play anywhere on the wing, and I can see him playing the 5-spot for us when we go small. He can defend any position. He can rebound, push it up the floor himself, and pull up and hit a 3-pointer. He can get to the rim and find the open man. We haven’t had many guys like Barry.”