ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. — Given the youthful nature of its roster, the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team was looking at only two open scholarships for next season.
But that didn’t stop it from getting an early start on the 2020 recruiting class.
Quintin Metcalf, a skilled 6-foot-8 prep forward, made a verbal commitment to Bona, he announced on his Twitter page Friday. Metcalf, one of two high-priority recruits who visited campus over the weekend, alongside Putnam Academy guard Mekhi Gray, chose the Bonnies over Howard, Drexel and Fairleigh Dickinson. He’ll have four years of eligibility, beginning in the 2020-21 campaign.
Metcalf is described by multiple recruiting outlets as being a versatile forward — a big man who has the ability to shoot, put the ball on the floor and even lead a break.
“There isn’t much that Metcalf doesn’t do to put his fingerprints all over the game,” a story by prephoops.com’s Colby Giacubeno read, in part. “He can score from all three levels, has the vision of a point guard and finishes over the rim on a consistent basis. His quick first step gives other players his size problems and once Metcalf gets into the paint, he anticipates the defensive rotation well.
“Defensively, he can guard from the 2-4 positions competently. There’s even an argument that he could guard centers if they aren’t a 7-footer.”
Unlike Gray, who, if he chooses Bona, would be the next in a Putnam pipeline that has produced current players Kyle Lofton, Osun Osunniyi and Justin Winston, Metcalf’s background is untraditional.
The lean and lanky forward was born in Texas but moved to an Army base in Seoul, South Korea, where he has lived ever since.
He was one of the area’s top players in a high school career that spanned stops at Division II Seoul American and D-I Humphreys, earning the Stars and Stripes Pacific Player of the Year honor in three-straight campaigns from 2017-19. As a senior last winter, he averaged an impressive 22 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks, four assists and two steals while leading Humphreys to a 33-0 record, including a 3-0 mark in tournament play, and the D-I championship.
Metcalf had a team-best 28 points as Humphreys dethroned defending champion Nile C. Kinnick, 83-64, in the title game.
“He became a more dynamic player able to do different things inside and outside,” said Humphreys coach Ron Merriweather, on Metcalf’s transition from Division II Seoul to a higher level, in a story for Stars and Stripes. “(He’s going to) have to be flexible at the collegiate level. He won’t be in the post.”
After primarily relying on game film from his performances in Korea to introduce himself to American collegiate coaches, he took advantage of the AAU scene in the U.S. by playing for Global Squad the past two summers.
It was then that Metcalf began attracting attention from Division I programs of varying levels. This winter, he’ll play a prep season for Mercersburg Academy (Pa).
“I’m just an aggressive hustler,” Metcalf said to prephoops.com in September. “I just want to help my team out in any way I can. The schools recruiting me like that I can do for my size. I move like a guard.”
Metcalf, who appears to have no shortage of confidence — “6-8 basketball God” reads his Twitter bio — will join a Bona frontcourt that loses lone senior Amadi Ikpeze, but is scheduled to return the center Osunniyi and forwards Winston, Bobby Planutis and Robert Carpenter. The Texas native can ink an official Letter of Intent during the early signing period, which runs from November 13-20.
With 11 current scholarship players (1 junior, 6 sophomores, plus redshirt Jalen Adaway and 3 freshmen) and Metcalf set to comprise next year’s roster, Bona has just one remaining scholarship available for 2020-21.
Gray tweeted on Tuesday that he will decide between the Bonnies, Fordham, Iona, Fairfield, Towson, NJIT, Bryant and Siena “sometime next week.”
(J.P. Butler, Bradford Publishing Company group sports editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)